Online and Virtual Volunteering Opportunities
Many generous and kind-hearted people throughout the world find fulfillment through volunteering and charitable work in their communities. It’s a great way for everyone, from former presidents to school-aged children, to make the world around them a little better.
But during this time of mandated social distancing, institutional closure, and general disruption of day-to-day life, volunteering opportunities are scarce, with no guarantee of when in-person community support will once again be safe and viable.
However, through the miracle of science, volunteering is still possible, even in these wild times! Many organizations, even now, still need generous support to function. And just as so many of us are now working from home, so too are the core staff of many of the public-facing organizations that we know and love. Volunteering in the virtual sphere can be a great way to continue to give back until the pandemic is finally over.
Online Volunteer Opportunities for All Ages
Whether you’re a parent trying to find a community service opportunity for your homeschooled youngster, an enthusiastic patron of your local museum, or a family of five trying to fill in your free time, there’s a role for you to fill in the world of virtual volunteering.
Online Volunteering for Adults
- Phone Banking
Popularized by political campaigns, phone banking is a great way to spread the word for a cause you love, find supporters, and even sign up even more volunteers to help you out. Not just for public office candidates, phone banking can be used to help support local organizations, too, such as food banks, free clinics, homeless shelters, and even cultural institutions. All you need is a phone, and a list of numbers! And for the call-shy among us, phone banking can be just as effective when done through text.
Unfortunately, no bake sales allowed during COVID-19. But virtual fundraisers can prove to be just as fun as in-person ones. From crowdfunding campaigns, to ticketed at-home movie nights and cocktail parties, and online auctions to virtual bingo, there are plenty of ways to raise funds safely from the comfort of your own home. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative!
- Letter Writing
If you’re the verbose type and love to help out by engaging your persuasive linguistic skills, organizations of all shapes and sizes can always use a writer to help craft their communications. Membership renewal letters, donations outreach, email content, and other written information don’t write themselves. Letter writing is an extremely helpful offering to give, and can be done from wherever in the word you happen to be!
- Lending your Skills
Whatever you do, chances are nonprofit companies and other charitable organizations will have a use for it. Nonprofits rely on financial donations to thrive, but they also accept what are called “in-kind donations,” which can come in the form of voluntary labor or donated material goods. Maybe you’re a lawyer? Ask your org of choice if they need some pro-bono legal work done. Are you a graphic designer? Talk to your local charities about getting their logos in order. Whatever professional skills you have, don’t hesitate to offer them up.
Online Volunteering for Students
- Social Media
Everyone’s online these days. And that’s what makes social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram the perfect sites for virtual volunteering opportunities. If you’re well-versed in social media functions, you might offer to help manage the social media account of a local organization or charity. Or, you can use your own social media pages as a way to raise awareness of a cause you care about amongst your peers.
Tutoring is an excellent way to help out your fellow students, and remain connected to friends and classmates while we’re all still stuck at home. And you don’t have to be an A+ student to make a difference in someone’s studies: help out a schoolmate a few grades below you in a subject you already know, quiz your friends over zoom, or even read aloud chapters from that book you’re all reading in English.
Is your school running a fundraiser? One great way to help out is to contact people and organizations within your community, to request funds, items, or services. This can be done over the phone or, if you’ve got an artistic side, you can make colorful postcards to mail out, with an invitation to contribute.
- Item Donation
One of the easiest ways for school-aged kids to make a difference is by donating the things in their life they no longer want or need to those less economically privileged than themselves. Take a look around your space, and find clean and functioning toys, clothes, art supplies, notebooks, or other items you can contribute to a thrift store or other object drive.
Online resources for Volunteering
Here are a few amazing organizations making a difference in the world that you can volunteer for.
Perfect for professionals with skills to share, VolunteerMatch helps you find an organization looking for help in your specific area of expertise.
- Points of Light Global Network
Points of Light runs an annual volunteer period during the month of April, and specializes in connecting remote volunteers to needful organizations spread across the globe. They also have an inspiring list of charitable DIY projects that you can run yourself from home.
- Crisis Text Hotline
Much like crisis call hotlines, trained crisis intervention volunteers answer texts from people needing extra help in the moment. Compassionate listening, resource sharing, and safety planning can help pull people back from the brink and get them the support they need. And during the hardships caused by COVID-19, this resource is needed now more than ever.
Bookshare is an organization that specializes in making reading materials accessible via the internet to children and adults with disabilities. Volunteers scan books, transcribe, proofread text, and describe images so that people with reading barriers can access written materials, whether for work, school, or fun.
- Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is an online database with over 60,000 completely free ebooks in their virtual library. Similar to bookshare, volunteers scan, proofread, and transcribe texts as they are added to the database for the enjoyment of virtual readers.
- And so much more…
Think about what you can do locally. It can be as small as offering to do the shopping for your elderly neighbor, or bubbling with the family down the street for mutual child care support. Or, you can call your local library, museum, or other public-facing institution to see what they need.
How ACME is Helping
ACME is a comprehensive ticketing platform which helps museums, zoos, aquariums, and other cultural institutions streamline everything from membership dues, to in-person sales, to everyday ticket sales.
ACME’s latest feature allows patrons to easily donate to your cause with a custom stand-alone donations page. Easily provide your audience with unique messaging, donation suggestion amounts, and personalized thank-you notes. Donors can even set up recurrent donations so that they can keep giving to your organization year after year.
To see how ACME can work for your organization, sign up for a demo today at ACME.com.