Bite-size volunteering

Bite-size or micro-volunteering offers volunteers the opportunity to undertake short and specific activities that are quick to start and complete. There is no commitment to repeat the activity and often takes place from home or online.

It can be a great way for volunteer-involving organisations to recruit and manage volunteers who struggle to give their time for free due to other commitments. You can read about the benefits of bite-size volunteering, some examples and also how to get started below.

Why consider bite-size volunteering?

For organisations, it is a convenient way to get people involved at any time that suits. It is a ‘bite-size’ support with no long-term commitment and volunteers can ‘dip in and dip out’. It is the perfect approach to get people involved and could be the starting point for getting more volunteers onboard within your organisation.

For volunteers, the benefits are volunteering for short and convenient, bite-size periods, normally related to specific and/or time tasks and activities. It provides opportunities to support your community in ways that relate to a specific and immediate need.

Examples of bite-size volunteering

  • Marshalling at a sponsored walk
  • Writing a grant application
  • Collecting donations at a fundraising event
  • Setting up a Facebook event
  • Manning a stall at a fair

Benefits of bite-size volunteering

The key benefit is flexibility without long-term commitment.

  • It enables people who are unable to participate in conventional volunteering because of time constraint to participate. Micro-volunteering really does make a difference.
  • It enables you to increase your pool of volunteers and access skills and experience that you might otherwise have been unable to.
  • It enables you to reach groups who may otherwise be excluded, such as older people, those housebound or disabled.

It is a good way to bring people on board and then grow their engagement and commitment to play a greater role in your organisation.

Getting started is easy

Have a look at our volunteering story about George to find out just how easy it is.

As an organisation

If your organisation is interested in recruiting volunteers for bite-size opportunities, and would like further help to think about these roles, please complete our support request form and one of our team will contact you to discuss the bespoke help we can provide.

As a volunteer

If you are looking for bite-size volunteer opportunities, register with Do It Life, the national volunteering database which lists thousands of volunteering opportunities. Registration is easy – just visit Do It Life, click on the button ‘JOIN’ at the top right hand corner of the page, and fill in your details.

If you have specialist skills to offer you can register and search for roles on the Reach Volunteering website.

Alternatively, you can register as a volunteer and express your interest in bite-size volunteering through the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service. The service matches volunteers to roles where they are most needed to help support communities. Therefore, the availability of roles and types of roles – including bite-sized volunteering – will vary.

Useful resources and further reading

  • Read our recent article in Vale Life
  • Look at our handy guide about micro-volunteering
  • Read this Guardian article about what micro-volunteering is and why you should get involved.
  • Look at the BBC FAQS on micro-volunteering from its Do Something Great pages BBC FAQs.
  • Whilst the “Help from Home” organisation no longer exists, their 2013 guide on How to Develop a Micro-volunteering Action remains a very useful resource for those wishing to set up programmes using platforms and portals.