There is a new trend emerging in the world of volunteering that allows you to do good right from your home or anywhere with an internet connection. Virtual volunteer opportunities are only limited by your imagination. Everything from translating and designing to writing and teaching can be done online to accomplish real-world results.
Don't let travel or time restrictions stop you from supporting your favorite causes. Virtual volunteers are just as needed—and appreciated—as those who provide in-person assistance. AARP, Goodwill, and the United Nations are just a few organizations that offer online volunteering opportunities, while resources like Volunteer Match can help you find virtual ways to give back with a simple search.
Manage Websites and Social Media Accounts
Nearly every organization has a website or a social media page, but volunteer groups may have trouble finding the time to keep them updated. Online proxies require a lot of maintenance to stay up to date. Writers are needed to keep blogs current, and coders can help sites stay secure. Social media experts are also necessary to help spread the word about important causes as well as to respond to people's questions on multiple platforms.
Graphic designers, marketing professionals, and photographers can also help foundations with their web presence. Even if you don't have the free time for more than one help session, a few social shares of your pro bono project can raise awareness about a nonprofit in need.
Chat and Answer Calls
If you are a mental health professional or someone with a therapy background, you may be a good fit to help organizations with online chat programs. People in crisis—whether from addiction issues, self-harm, or depression—may be more comfortable reaching out for help anonymously online rather than in person or over the phone. Associations like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rely on volunteers to keep help going 24/7.
Even if you don't feel ready to be a point person for someone in crisis, you can make yourself available to help users navigate a nonprofit's website via chats. Fundraising phone calls can also be done from home, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) options allow you to use an organization's phone number rather than your own line.
Bilingual volunteers are frequently in demand for local and national organizations. Translating emails and phone calls is a necessity for organizations to best help the people they serve. Some great organizations even match bilingual volunteers with senior citizens who would love to chit-chat with someone—in any language—over the phone.
Teachers interested in virtual volunteer opportunities are the perfect fit for nonprofits that help students improve their grades. Math, science, English, and just about every subject can be taught online while video chat tools allow for student-tutor face time.
Tutoring is also a good volunteering opportunity for bilingual volunteers, since ESOL students can benefit from extra attention while they work to become fluent in a new language. Virtual ESOL tutoring can even be done by student volunteers who may be a bit on the shy side.
If technology isn't your thing, there are still countless ways to volunteer from home. Knitting scarves and hats for homeless shelters, making sweet treats for a local bake sale (try Angela's recipes for baking with kids), or painting a masterpiece to be sold for charity are a few ways that you can use your talents to help nonprofits from your home. Stuffing envelopes for mailing campaigns is another easy way to volunteer your time from the comfort of your couch.
Our world is becoming more connected as social media and the internet provide opportunities to link people all over the world. Virtual volunteer opportunities allow us to take advantage of modern technologies to do good.
What are some of your favorite ways to virtually volunteer? Share your stories with us on Twitter!
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Why It’s Good
Virtual volunteer opportunities can let you help a variety of people and organizations from the comfort of your own home. We no longer need to let travel or time restrictions stop us from supporting worthwhile volunteer efforts.