Wish you could volunteer or donate time to a worthy cause, but your schedule just don’t have the extra time? Maybe, there is an alternative that may be right for you. Virtual volunteering is basically doing volunteer work using the Internet. This could be a better alternative for those who want to be more active in doing non-traditional volunteer work.
There are a lot of organizations that you can find through the Internet that accept virtual volunteers. United Nations, Do Something, or Womenoncall are some of these organizations. Just look up their websites and you can match your skills to the jobs that they need. You could incorporate such programs into your employees’ work schedules and make some time to monitor them.
Kinds of virtual volunteer works
Tasks a volunteer may choose from may vary from as simple as data entry or online research to technical jobs like designing databases or web pages. What is important is that you could volunteer for services that you are particularly skilled at. Volunteer work that involves more specific tasks like counseling or giving legal, medical or business advice are better handled by professional people who are experts in those fields.
Here are some examples of tasks that a volunteer may engage in:
- Virtual learning opportunities like e-tutoring students in various subjects, teaching foreigners in basic English as well as helping people learn different skills that may give them job opportunities like web design, photo editing, data entry and other related online tasks.
- Administrative work like online research, data entry, translating documents, scanning documents and answering clients’ inquiries on behalf of the organization.
- Technical jobs like creating podcasts, graphic design or editing videos.
- Facilitate communication and networking through editing or writing proposals, newsletter articles and press releases about the organization.
There are some advantages of virtual volunteering like the following:
- Virtual volunteering overcomes geographic boundaries and time constraints. You can give service to people from other countries most especially those who are lacking in resources. Since no travel is involved, you can spend more time teaching basic subjects to students on a one on one basis, allowing for more flexibility and convenience.
- Virtual volunteering provides an efficient and cost effective way to perform community service. Since you have the technical resources in place like the computer with Internet connection and VoIP service, all one needs are the resource materials to complete your tasks when necessary.
- It is environment friendly. Being able to work offsite helps the company promote eco friendly practices like less paper wasted or no car fumes emitted.
- Online volunteers may have more sophisticated computer equipment and also programming skills that the organization may benefit from. This way, the organization saves more money, as they would use the volunteer’s resources in their behalf.
- Assisting with programs dealing with helping out children, troubled individuals, and people needing counseling or tutoring may empower the volunteers into realizing that they make an impact on the people they help.
- Volunteers could collaborate with each other using the Internet. Volunteer managers can use online discussion groups to be more knowledgeable about the program and get tips or offer advice to others.
- Volunteers may be inspired to take a step further and continue on accepting volunteer work on their own and turn into great advocates for the organization.
Benefits of virtual volunteering
Virtual volunteering can benefit both you and your organization as well as providing services to the organization, school, or government program where volunteer work is rendered. Even, companies who join in this endeavor now have the tools to sharpen their employee volunteer programs, and by design, are able to polish their corporate philanthropy reputation.