How to be a microvolunteer
For anyone who already has enough pro bono work on her plate (What? Nobody pays you to cook dinner?), the idea of volunteering can seem daunting. But now you don't need to join the Peace Corps to make a difference. Thanks to Sparked.com, the world's first microvolunteering network, you can become a digital do-gooder from the comfort of your own computer.
The premise is simple: Sparked matches your talents to volunteer tasks, all of which are small assignments (generally not exceeding two hours of work) that fit easily into busy schedules. Plus, all jobs can be completed online, meaning that you can do them on your own time, from anywhere.
Setting yourself up to help is just as quick and easy. Volunteers register for free by indicating particular skill sets and interests (say, graphic design or social media marketing) as well as causes they'd like to support. Meanwhile, non-profit organizations post tasks that they need completed--drafting a press release for Greenpeace, for example, or translating a document for the American Red Cross. Then, when you log in, the site will suggest appropriate volunteer jobs, which you can sign up for or reject accordingly.
It's a pretty cool (and painless) way to make new use of skills you already have.