Would you like to make a difference from the comfort of your own home? Why not be a virtual volunteer? Virtual volunteers help organizations all across the country – even all over the world with many different tasks to make their organizations run smoothly.
There are many benefits to being a virtual volunteer. You can volunteer from home and save gas money and not need to spend money on a babysitter or other costs needed for getting out of the house. It can also be perfect for someone who needs a flexible schedule and cannot commit to volunteering at a specific time every week. One of the top benefits of virtual volunteering can be control over your time schedule. Some volunteer assignments are very flexible and can be done once a week and but others need to be done once a day, check with the organization to see what they are looking for. Be sure to be realistic about exactly how much time you can give an organization each week or each month. Volunteering has a lot to offer you and can benefit your life in so many ways. It feels so good to volunteer and help others. Volunteering, whether virtual or in-person is also a wonderful way to learn new skills and help you update your resume. If you are a student or unemployed, consider adding a volunteer position to add the opportunity to learn some new skills and add value to your resume.
There are many different types of assignments with so many organizations. Are you the techy type? Lots of organizations are looking for web design savvy folks who can help with web design or upkeep. Are you good with people? Some organizations are looking for volunteers who can coordinate or manage the activities of the organization’s volunteers. Are you good with words? Many organizations are looking for grant writers, or for someone to write a brochure or a newsletter or even fund-raising letters. Do you love crafts? There are organizations that are looking for crafty folks to knit, sew, quilt or create cuddly toys or blankets.
Most organizations prefer that a volunteer consider making at least a six month to a year commitment, whether this is verbally mentioned or not. It is a good thing to keep in mind. An organization is taking the time to train you and place you in a position. While it is an unpaid position they are depending on you to help in some way. A good rule of thumb is to treat a not-for-profit organization with the same courtesy and respect that you would a paying job.
You can find virtual volunteering positions at the following websites:
Idealist.com (www.idealist.com) Look under ‘Volunteering’ and do a search under your country. Add the keyword ‘Virtual’. (Tip: if you add the keyword ‘volunteer’ to ‘virtual’ it brings up just about every volunteer assignment you could imagine, not just the virtual ones, so just use ‘virtual’ as the keyword.)
VolunteerMatch.com (www.volunteermatch.com) Visit this website to find a great volunteer position. Do a search and under ‘distance’ select ‘virtual’. You’ll find lots to choose from. Consider using other keywords if you want to be more specific than this. I’ve found if I use too many keywords, less choices come up so I’d rather search through lots of options than less.
Online Volunteering.org (http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/) This is the website to volunteer online with United Nations organizations. You’ll find many interesting virtual volunteering opportunities here. Most are with organizations in other countries. Be sure to select which languages you speak when doing a search to find organizations that speak the same languages you do.