When we think of volunteering, most of us imagine a person who works out in the community, tending gardens or helping the elderly. The new era of mobile devices, however, is rapidly changing that picture. Mobile volunteering is here.
From smartphones to tablets, mobile devices can play a critical role in volunteering, and they are becoming more powerful and effective every year.
Why Mobile Volunteering Works for Volunteers
Flexibility. From students to busy families, the flexibility offered by mobile volunteering lets people who would otherwise struggle with time commitments to volunteer freely on their own time.
Convenience. Thanks to the mobility of mobile apps, volunteers can help make the world a better place at home, at a coffee shop, or even on a neighborhood walk.
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Why Mobile Volunteering Works for Agencies
- There are now more people on earth with mobile devices than without
- Most mobile devices are always on-hand
- Social media and other mobile apps enable greater connection and engagement with volunteers
- Mobile devices allow for powerful data collection and sharing
- Social media on mobile devices is the most effective way to reach and engage Millennials and other young volunteers
Mobile Volunteering Uses & Opportunities
Mobile volunteers can take on many roles, and can be very useful for any organization. An animal rescue group, for example, can hire a mobile volunteer to photos of adoptable shelter pets and share them to Facebook, Instagram and Craigslist.
Another great example of mobile volunteering is mobile app development and use. Mobile-friendly platforms like the County of Maui’s own GetConnected platform, for example, allow potential volunteers to sign up and connect with agencies. Other mobile apps, such as the Litterati app, easily turn anyone with a phone into a volunteer. Apps like this one, which lets users track the trash they find, can be tailor-made for a specific agency and are a great way to collect data and mobilize the community.