Thanks to the latest generation of smartphones, it can sometimes seem like you can do whatever you want, with the touch of a button. Well, add one more thing to that list – volunteering.
Combining two hot trends - micro-giving and the iPhone — a new application called “The Extraordinaires,” allows you to micro-volunteer by tackling small projects on your iPhone while you’re waiting for the train or waiting to meet friends for a meal. Volunteer projects include translation, image tagging, citizen journalism, mapping and more. (If you don’t have an iPhone, you can also complete projects on The Extraordinaires website.)
Here is an example of how it works: the Smithsonian has tons of images in its database, but can it correctly curate (tag) and sort them all? Devoting staff time to the hundreds of thousands of images is time consuming and cost prohibitive. But now, those images are part of database that micro-volunteers can see and add new tag words to help them be searchable for future use. By sourcing the task of tagging the photos to a crowd of micro-givers, not only does the museum get a wide range of possible search terms, but they can also catalog a much greater number of photos. As you can see from the example, volunteers are being asked to add descriptive terms to the existing tags.
UPDATE: Since this went live, we’ve been alerted to something posted back in January about apps for the nonprofit community. Strategic consultant to nonprofits and Oakland blogger Britt Bravo, has interesting list of iPhone apps for nonprofits. Since its been posted, others have added to the list in the comments section. Check it out and let us know which ones you like the best.