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The Issues Facing Micro-Volunteering

December 4, 2010

The “Quandaries” of Micro-Volunteering

Mike Bright has written an intriguing article about the “Quandries” facing micro-volunteering today (you can find the full article here or find a great summary here) .

What are the issues? Well there are about 8 main ones, although most of them are linked to the social aspect. Most micro-volunteering opportunities are individual, and so at its heart it is a lonely endeavor. Well that is one of the driving inspiration for ChangeMachine, bring groups and social networks together to help nonprofits, there is no need to do anything alone! Especially for brainstorming activities, the participants need access not only to a place to put their ideas, but they need to actively react and participate in the discussion. Enter our innovative new live collaboration effort, the ChangeMachine Engine!

The other issues in the article are mysteriously addressed by our main ideas (suspicious, I know, but we had this idea well before we found the article!) such as the lack of contact between nonprofits and volunteers, feedback and proof of success. These issues are all wrapped up in the Changemachine idea!

Attrition and Incentives

Although all of these things are great, I am proud of one thing in particular: incentives. Micro-volunteering’s biggest enemy is not impact, loneliness or lack of contact; it is attrition! Because it is so easy to sign up and help, it is also so easy to stop. Well that is where ChangeMachine has the market locked down, we approach the attrition problem at its root: motivation. We provide novel incentives, course credit, university involvement, game-like structure and local business support to create a great self sustaining environment!

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