Virtual Volunteering 101
Volunteering has a multitude of benefits, not only for the individual or group receiving the service but for those providing it as well. Volunteers can range in the areas they work and serve, including trained services such as education or emergency rescue, or on an as-needed basis, such as assisting in response to a natural disaster. Over the years, volunteering has evolved beyond going somewhere to perform a task, like building houses or serving in soup kitchens. Today, with many working remotely and finding it challenging to make meetings or perform duties at the organization, there is an opportunity for those that wish to help their favourite nonprofits from the comfort of their own home.
With the evolution of technology, we now can donate our virtual time and skills in addition to physically volunteering in the “real world.”Being a virtual volunteer means we can utilize the internet and work via computer, phone, or tablet to provide skills and services to the causes we care about. While each organization has different needs, virtual volunteers can donate their time performing tasks including website design, data entry, copywriting, marketing, video creation, graphic design, and much more. Additionally, since each organization often has a different approach, there may be other unique ways that volunteers can remotely support each charity.
Virtual volunteering has provided individuals with the opportunity to do more for organizations in less time. Not only are virtual volunteers able to crowdsource data for research in science and humanities, but they can also help any nonprofits grow and expand their impact around the globe. Volunteering virtually provides more opportunities to support multiple organizations and causes. It allows for more flexibility in scheduling and the level of involvement. It is an opportunity for those that have a technological skill set to utilize their capabilities in a way that may not be met through physical volunteering. Virtual volunteering allows organizations to provide more positions to cover a wider range of skills and tasks, as well as save through operating costs.
To become a virtual volunteer, you will need to have an idea of which cause, program, or organization you would like to support. Once you narrow your focus, deciding what type of virtual service you would like to provide is the next step. If you have chosen a specific organization you would like to support, check out their website’s volunteer section for their volunteer opportunities. Before you sign up for a virtual volunteer position, make sure you have thoroughly done your research of the organization and reviewed the consumer report to eliminate any unstable or fraudulent organizations from your list. Ensure you have an understanding of how your hours and work will be tracked, what tasks are your responsibility, and who to contact if you need assistance.
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