Micro-volunteering has become all the rage in association circles and for good reason. Volunteering has always been a key tool for industry organizations because it lowers costs, gets members engaged and participating and improves services by adding a diverse and expert set of voices. The ever-growing, fast-paced reality of today’s world means fewer and fewer members are looking for the long-term commitment inherent in many association volunteer opportunities, such as sitting on a standing committee. However, members still want to get involved in helping their association, which is why micro-volunteering, the practice of volunteering in small increments of time, is growing in popularity.
It’s one thing to recognize this desire for micro-volunteering among members and another thing to find and provide these opportunities to them. Have no fear, we put together four social media-based micro-volunteering opportunities your association can offer to members. Here they are:
Moderate A Twitter Round Table
It’s always great to get an industry veteran on board with a volunteer opportunity, but some of the most well-known and well-respected people in the business are often busy or trying to refocus on family and leisure. Moderating a Twitter round table is a perfect way to include a senior member in a micro-volunteer position, capitalize on his/her clout among other professionals and add value for members by sharing the expertise of the moderator.
Contact a senior member of your association, preferably one that has a fair amount of experience on Twitter, and work with them to determine a topic and questions for the round table. Promote the round table to your association’s network, especially their ability to ask questions of the moderator and join in on the discussion. This planning session will probably take about an hour and the round table itself will usually run no more than an hour and a half for a total volunteer time of about two hours!
Manage An Account For The Day
This is a great opportunity to include all the different segments of your association’s membership into a micro-volunteering role. Recruit a student, a young professional, a veteran, a supplier/business member or any other demographic of member and have them post from the association’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account for a whole day. Not only is this fun and engaging for both the member and the audience, it also highlight’s your association’s connection and dedication to the type of member doing the posting.
This micro-volunteering opportunity doesn’t take much planning with the volunteer, but it does take some. Prior to the day, discuss generally what might make for some good posting with the volunteer, but don’t give specific guidelines as you want to give the volunteer some freedom to use their own point of view. Make sure they know what is acceptable and unacceptable to post. This planning process and the day of posting should only take up about two hours total for the volunteer.
Cover An Event Live On Social Media
This is a great opportunity for a member who wants to have a hand in shaping an association’s event without having to sit on a planning committee or get stuck at a registration area. Recruit a social media-savvy member to live-tweet an event, write blog post recaps or post on Facebook, Instagram, Vine or Snapchat during the event. Not only will this take pressure off your staff, but it will give an attendee’s-eye-view of what your association offers.
Before a volunteer or volunteers can cover an event live on social media, there has to be a small amount of planning. They need to know the schedule of events and which people and issues are the most important to highlight. This involves a quick email on your part a small amount homework on the volunteer’s part. While the event may take up one to three days, the social media aspect will only require a few hours from the volunteer, totalling altogether about four to five hours. You can even incentivize the opportunity further by giving your volunteer free or discounted access to the event!
Take Part In Social Media Tag
This is the easiest and quickest way for your association’s members to participate in a micro-volunteering opportunity. Association’s are always looking for a way to get the word out, promote their value and highlight the services they offer. Instead of having volunteers write long testimonials or sit on marketing and communications committees, have them play social media tag. This requires them to answer a question, such as, “What is the best reason for being a member of Association X?” and then tagging someone else on their social media platform to answer this question. It’s fun, easy, uses elements of gamification and helps spread the word about your organization.
Like we said above, this is the easiest and quickest form of micro-volunteering there is. It will not take a member more a minute or two to contribute to this cause, but it has the potential to have a long-lasting effect on how both members and potential members view your association.