I am a busy person. I work full time, spend several hours a day on commuting, go to the gym, meet up with friends, feed my two cats, watch the occasional movie…. I don’t have a lot of time to give to volunteering. Does that sound a bit like you?

Not to worry, more and more charities are experimenting with online short-term commitment-free volunteering opportunities. After having listened to Ben Rigby go on about micro-volunteerism I went to sparked.com to see if I, too, could make a change in the one hour I had left over late one Thursday night.

It is extremely easy to get started as a volunteer.


Simply pick some causes that you really care about…


…list the skills you’d like to volunteer…


… and you’ll be offered a variety of currently live challenges, matching your previous choices, that you could help tackle.

I ended up designing a poster, providing the charity with a new angle to communicate their message. It felt great!

  • I got to work on my design/marketing skills
  • I got to contribute to a cause I genuinely believe in
  • I received almost instant feedback from the charity that posted the challenge, making me feel as a valued participant
  • I can develop a relationship with the charity if I want to but it is not compulsory. The choice is mine!

I am likely to go back to them next time I have a bit of free time on my hands and see what else I can help them with.