Is micro-volunteerism the future of volunteering?

Hat tip to Meghan Keaney at the Speak United blog for drawing my attention to The Extraordinaries, a fascinating software solution which allows volunteers to take part in small bursts of activity when time allows, all from the comfort of their smartphones (think helping to translate a microfinance loan for Kiva while waiting in your doctor’s office or transcribing a Witness human rights video on the bus).

Sure it will never take the place of traditional volunteering – which requires a substantial commitment from both the volunteer and the organization and provides an equally powerful return – but it is a good start toward tapping the unused minutes of the deluge of laid off Americans seeking a way to put their time to good use.


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