Mike Bright, Microvolunteering’s #1 Fan, Has Passed Away

I am heart-broken to announce that Mike Bright passed away on Tuesday after battling cancer since October of last year. I have heard from his wife, Deb <debmike@talktalk.net>, and have received permission to share the news.

Mike BrightMike Bright was the biggest, most passionate promoter of microvolunteering EVER. He launched the Help From Home initiative (http://helpfromhome.org/) entirely on his own and leveraged the Internet brilliantly to promote this form of episodic virtual volunteering, giving it more attention than it has ever had before. Because of his extensive work, I link to him on both my own web site and on the Virtual Volunteering wiki. Susan Ellis and I have a photo of Mike, in his PJs at a computer (at left), on page 31 of The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, in the section about microvolunteering (of course). And I featured Mike prominently in a report for the European Commission, the government of the EU, regarding the prevalence and potential of virtual volunteering in Europe. I would say that it’s because of Mike’s efforts to track microvolunteering in the UK that I am able to say the UK is #2, behind Spain and, perhaps, tied with Poland, for having the greatest amount of virtual volunteering in Europe. Mike’s contributions and promotions regarding microvolunteering have been invaluable to nonprofits, NGOs, charities, and other organizations all over the world – and his legacy will be all that he wrote and researched on the subject.

I am so sorry I never got to meet Mike in-person, but I have lost a respected, admired colleague nonetheless.

Deb said in an email to me, “just to let you know Mike’s Special Day will be held on 14th February 2017, Valentines Day. No flowers but donations to Oxfam and FoodBank if you so wish. Black isn’t the name of the game and we have asked people to wear what they feel comfortable in.” Feel free to contact her if you want to offer condolences.

We’ve lost such an important contributor to the field.

April 17 2017 u update: I’ve created this listing of 300 tweets celebrating & promoting microvolunteering, from April 10 to April 17, 2017, via Storify. These tweets used the tag #microday. Microvolunteering Day is April 15 and was founded by Mike.

Also, Mike’s family is open to turning over his Help From Home and Microvolunteering Day initiatives to an organization that will make a commitment to maintain the two web sites, at their current web addresses, for at least two years, will keep the social media accounts active in that time, and will maintain Mike’s vision, focus exclusively on promoting microvolunteering, both to online volunteers and to organizations, in that time. Here’s more information.

4 thoughts on “Mike Bright, Microvolunteering’s #1 Fan, Has Passed Away

  1. Jamie Ward-Smith

    This is such sad news. I met Mike a few times and was so impressed by his energy and passion for micro volunteering which he single handedly introduced to the UK. He was full of wisdom and integrity and most people didn’t realise that he ran HelpFromHome on a voluntary basis, providing a huge source of inspiration for my early days with ivo and providing a timely reminder that volunteers really can do amazing things. He will be very much missed and as you say Jayne his legacy of work will live on.

  2. Laura T

    I met Mike Bright via another micro-volunteer website, and became an online friend of his and HelpFromHome immediately! His humor, his stay with it attitude, and always helping others will be hard to replace.
    I wish I could have met him in person, but we were always “across the pond” from each other, as we would say. He was a remarkable man, and micro-volunteering has lost a great pioneer in a need that will only grow.
    There are no words to say, but to his wife Deb, “you had a treasure, and we all saw his value”.
    Laura T

  3. Karl Wilding

    Dear Jayne
    Thank you for sharing this untimely and news.

    Mike’s work had a big influence on NCVO’s own work on micro volunteering a few years ago, and was a generous supporter of our work. I very much hope that Help from Home will continue as a legacy to Mike.

    Although I didn’t know Mike personally, if Deborah and his family are reading this, please can I send my condolences on behalf of NCVO staff.

  4. jcravens Post author

    Thanks to everyone who has written. I think a lot of people were influenced by Mike’s promotion of micro volunteering and didn’t’ even know it – they may have read about it or seen a reference to it or heard about it specifically because of something Mike did to promote it, but it didn’t always have his name obviously attached. I just really do not want Mike’s contributions to our field forgotten.


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