Find the perfect fit, anywhere in the world
Volunteers today come in many forms. Most people imagine an in-person volunteer working in a community—whether cleaning up a park, holding a clothing drive or bringing a meal to a nursing home. But giving your time to a good cause can include more than being physically on site—and in an increasingly digital world, being “in person” isn’t required.
Don’t have a car or a ride to get to the volunteering site? Can’t snag a sitter for young ones at home? Create the Good’s got you covered, helping you help others and your community right from your own home.
Every day, volunteers across the country lend a hand virtually, from computers, tablets, phones and other mobile devices. All you need is Internet access—and sometimes, just a phone.
What’s your niche?
First, think about what it is that you can offer others. Can you provide that skill across the web? The way your talents translate virtually may surprise you.
For example, do you know how to build or update a website? Are you fluent in the language of computer coding or programming? Lend your skills to a nonprofit, effort or charity doing work you believe in. Organizations such as InterConnection.org can help you put your technology or computer skills to use for nonprofits and NGOs.
Are you a grammar whiz or love to write? Foundations and nonprofits are always trying to get the word out about their mission and their work. Offer to help with outreach to potential donors, fundraising or grant writing and editing. Or help the organization keep a blog or social media feeds updated.
The list goes on! Who are you?
- A good listener? Offer you ear and emotional support by staffing a crisis hotline.
- An attorney? Offer to give free legal advice to NGOs.
- A teacher? Depending on your instructional area, teach education courses online, create curricula, mentor a young person via Skype or give free webinars.
- Fluent in another language? There are many groups worldwide that could use help with translations—and individuals and staff who could benefit from language training.
- An administrative guru? You can do many admin tasks from your own computer, like answering emails, for understaffed nonprofits.
- A research savvy scholar? Help with analysis, data entry, research or database maintenance or construction.
Consider your passion
Once you have a good feel for what it is you can offer, ask yourself what you’re most passionate about—and then what organizations can benefit most from your skills. What’s convenient about being a virtual volunteer is every organization across the world is at your fingertips. No matter your abilities, you’re bound to find one with the mission—and needs—perfectly suited for you.
How do you find the perfect virtual fit? If you don’t have an organization already in mind, there are plenty of volunteer matching sites with national and global opportunities:
- The World Volunteer Web is the hub for information and resources on the online, worldwide volunteer community.
- UNV Online Volunteering is a service by United Nations Volunteers that connects individual volunteers with organizations working for sustainable human development around the world.
- Volunteer Match links volunteers to virtual opportunities both in nearby communities and across the globe.
- Idealist.org is a great search tool for locating volunteer opportunities with a nonprofit focus—and you can search by location, focus area, schedule and more.
- DoSomething.org allows you to volunteer for any cause, from anywhere, at any time.
The world is your volunteering oyster!
Want to sew clothing for disadvantaged children in India? Or help a nonprofit carry out a social mission in Taiwan? Or perhaps you know of a graphic design company doing great work in India?
Today’s technology truly does allow you to connect to good from wherever you are. With the click of a button, you can find the perfect opportunity with a cause dear to you. Virtual volunteering is an ideal way to extend your altruistic reach across the globe, learning more about other cultures and making an impact on communities far away.
Is virtual volunteering right for you?
From flexibility to expanded horizons, there are many clear advantages to volunteering virtually. It could be a perfect fit for:
- Those with busy schedules or time sensitivities and who need flexible scheduling
- Those who care for young children and who need to stay home
- Those without a vehicle or who experience other transportation or mobility challenges
- Those who want to volunteer outside their own community, state or even country
Don’t have a computer or internet access?
Don’t worry—sometimes all you need is a phone to put your time toward good. Man a domestic violence hotline or suicide call center. Organize or manage donation drive pickups. Or simply pick up the phone and call a senior in isolation.
Curious about the credibility of an online organization?
Read Give Back Wisely about smart giving
to make sure your time and donations are doing the most good.