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Microvolunteering: A small step towards big impact

Microvolunteering_ A small step towards big impact - cover-min 

What can HR professionals and corporate social responsibility programs do to incentivize employee volunteering when employee engagement rates are low? Often, challenges to a successful employee volunteer program include lack of time, accessibility, and a misalignment between employee interests and volunteer opportunities offered.

As corporate professionals and HR experts, you're constantly seeking innovative ways to engage your workforce and make meaningful contributions to society. This is where the concept of microvolunteering, especially in the realm of employee volunteerism, plays a crucial role. At Catchafire, we believe that even the smallest actions can lead to significant, long-term impact.

The power of microvolunteering

Microvolunteering is an approach to volunteering that allows individuals to contribute in small, manageable increments of time. This concept is particularly appealing in today's fast-paced world, where finding time can be challenging. It's about making volunteerism accessible and feasible for everyone, regardless of their busy schedules. 

The Catchafire model

At Catchafire, we understand the constraints of life and work. That's why our platform is designed to offer microvolunteering opportunities that can be as brief as a 15-minute advice session. 

Our feature Quick Advise sets up employees to microvolunteer, giving them the ability to complete a quick act of service and still keep up with the demands of their job. Nonprofits submit a written question for volunteers to respond to. These written back and forth sessions enable volunteers to offer their expertise to nonprofits asynchronously. Skills-based volunteers are subject matter experts and shouldn’t overlook simple questions like:

  • If you’re an email marketer, a nonprofit might need straightforward help deciding why they should use MailChimp instead of Hubspot to email their donors.
  • With AI being all the talk, a nonprofit can ask, “How can my nonprofit adapt to AI?”
  • If you’re a fundraiser, nonprofits may ask for strategic advice on planning capital campaigns and crafting donor appeal letters.
  • Events professionals could help nonprofits brainstorm ideas for events and how to put together donor programming.

This model not only provides immediate, valuable support to nonprofits but also allows professionals to engage in meaningful work without a significant time commitment.


Quick Advise is… 

  • Easy to complete: The low time commitment incentivizes employees to get started with volunteering, spending only 15 minutes of their time.
  • Inclusive: Adding to the variety of ways to engage, Quick Advise creates opportunities for an even more diverse pool of volunteers to communicate and collaborate with nonprofits. This unique experience underscores our commitment to capacity-building and collaboration, fostering inclusivity and neurodiversity among our volunteers and nonprofits. These flexible engagement opportunities enhance everyone’s experience by allowing people to participate in ways that are most comfortable for them. This approach broadens access to a wide array of perspectives and expertise.
  • An on-ramp to long-term engagement: Microvolunteering is a quick and easy way for employees to get started, paving the way for future volunteering and increased employee engagement for your CSR activities. 

The journey from microvolunteering to long-term impact

Microvolunteering_ A small step towards big impact - 3-min


"Some of the biggest draws of Catchafire was that you can make an impact from home, that there are so many remote opportunities to volunteer, and that there are so many varying project lengths...I really love working with the different nonprofit partners I’ve met through Catchafire. I’ve met some really cool people that I’m now still working with outside of Catchafire.”

Aja B., Volunteer


Microvolunteering on Catchafire is just the beginning of a journey towards deeper, more impactful engagement. Quick Advise creates a pathway for long-term, repeated engagement - it introduces volunteers to causes, and Catchafire’s suite of engagements can turn them into long-term volunteers and donors. Here’s how a simple 15-minute advice session can evolve:

Microvolunteering_ A small step towards big impact - 6-min

Answering a question
It starts with a question posted by a nonprofit, which a volunteer answers in a quick, 15-minute session. This exchange of expertise can provide immediate solutions and insights, fostering a sense of accomplishment and connection.

The one-hour consultation
The initial interaction often leads to a one-hour consultation call. This deeper engagement allows volunteers to understand the nonprofit's needs better and offer more comprehensive advice, setting the stage for a meaningful relationship.

Full-length volunteer projects
As the connection strengthens, volunteers may feel motivated to commit to full-length projects. These longer commitments enable them to apply their skills more extensively, leading to significant contributions to the nonprofit’s objectives.

Long-term relationships

Microvolunteering_ A small step towards big impact - 7-min

Catchafire’s 2023 volunteer survey

This volunteering journey can evolve into long-term relationships, where volunteers become integral to the nonprofit's mission. They may take on roles as board members, advisory figures, and donors, or engage as repeat volunteers, deeply impacting the nonprofit’s growth and success. With over 12,000 nonprofit partners, Catchafire offers a curated selection of nonprofit board opportunities tailored to employees' skills, interests, and availability. 

The benefits of microvolunteering for CSR programs

Increase employee engagement
Microvolunteering is an excellent tool for improving employee engagement. It's flexible and requires minimal time commitment, which makes it more accessible and appealing for busy professionals.

Skill development and employee satisfaction
Engaging in short volunteering stints allows employees to apply and develop their skills in new, challenging environments. This not only aids their professional growth but also boosts job satisfaction and morale.

Building a culture of giving
Incorporating microvolunteering into your corporate culture fosters a spirit of giving and community involvement. It shows your commitment to corporate social responsibility and can improve your brand's image and appeal.

Encouraging long-term commitments
Starting with microvolunteering can lead to longer-term commitments, as employees experience the fulfillment that comes from making a difference. This gradual involvement can result in more profound, impactful volunteer work.

How Catchafire’s employee engagement software supports microvolunteering

Microvolunteering_ A small step towards big impact - 8-min

Customized opportunities
Catchafire offers a range of microvolunteering opportunities, customized to match the skills and interests of your employees, ensuring meaningful and enjoyable experiences.

Impact tracking
Catchafire provides tools to track and measure the impact of your volunteering efforts. We'll provide real-time metrics and testimonials so you can track employee impact, offering tangible evidence of your company’s contribution to society. You’ll have a portfolio of success stories and data to share with your stakeholders. 

Support and guidance
We provide support and guidance throughout the volunteering journey, ensuring that both nonprofits and volunteers have fruitful, rewarding experiences.

Get started with Catchafire

Microvolunteering is a gateway to building a culture of volunteerism and engaging in CSR within your organization. It’s a strategic way to invest in employee engagement activities, foster skill development, and make a meaningful impact on the community. Catchafire, with its focus on providing manageable, impactful volunteering opportunities, stands as the best choice for companies looking to embark on this journey. 

By starting small, your organization can make big strides in employee engagement, practicing corporate social responsibility, and driving societal impact, proving that even the smallest actions can lead to significant change.

Request a demo today.

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