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12 Great Virtual Volunteering Ideas to Help from Home
If you are a busy person who relies on a flexible schedule, the great news is that you can still volunteer. This article shares 12 great virtual volunteering ideas for you or your family to consider trying, along with some “frequently asked questions” about how virtual volunteering works.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all volunteer opportunities were in-person to some extent. During the pandemic, traditional, in-person volunteering dropped off dramatically. As a result, nonprofits have gotten creative in designing opportunities for people to be involved from their homes.
The new trends offer opportunities to volunteer from home or tasks in hybrid formats that have helped volunteering rebound. Volunteering is nearing its pre-pandemic levels, with 47% of people volunteering for secular charities again in 2021, according to a Gallup poll. The success of offering virtual and hybrid models means that they are here to stay, and will even more likely be very creative and engaging.
You can find an interesting opportunity in your area or nationally with a nonprofit that connects with your passions and skills. Technology has become integral to the process. The best volunteer app to find opportunities and connect with nonprofits is Golden, where you can sign up for free to explore thousands of postings.
1: Design Greeting Cards for Sick Children
Nonprofits all over the world provide ways for you to send a nice greeting to children with terminal illnesses. Some are as simple as using e-greeting software through which you can pick a template and write a loving message. It’s a great idea to include age-appropriate cartoon characters or pictures of adorable pets to brighten children’s day. All are great virtual volunteering ideas to help you connect and support people in need.
2: Work as a Virtual Translator for a Nonprofit
If you are fluent in another language, you might be able to help a nonprofit by translating written materials to or from English. Sometimes groups need live translators to attend virtual meetings and support knowledge exchange in real-time. You can travel all around the world from your couch and help charities save thousands of dollars on what a professional translator might charge.
3: Do Origami – and Provide Clean Water for Families
Some of the most engaging virtual volunteering ideas ask families to craft from home to create products that are sale ready - which helps raise money for worthy missions. This includes creating origami to help those who need access to water through an organization called Paper for Water. You can host a virtual supply drive to send the company the things it needs to create the beautiful ornaments. Other ideas include advertising the fundraiser to your network through social media and volunteer-created flyers, and learning to fold and make origami package toppers and decorations to be sent back to Paper for Water.
4: Volunteer to Decorate Lunch Bags
There are an estimated 9 million children struggling with hunger today just in the United States. Millions more suffer around the world. While many organizations provide food for these children, you can provide a smile and some cheer through decorating lunch bags. There are quite a few organizations who offer this opportunity. Get standard paper lunch bags and decorate them with markers, crayons, stickers, riddles, jokes, mazes, inspiration, or encouragement. Then simply send them to the nonprofit through the mail or in person, if you live nearby.
5: Pack a Shoebox
Putting together a package for a child can bring such delight. A shoebox is the perfect size to ship to those in need, especially overseas. There are many organizations that host shoebox drives, often around the winter holidays. You can do this by picking up a box at a local church or creating your own from a shoebox in your closet, and filling it with toys, treats, stickers, and more. This opportunity has also become a virtual one for many organizations in light of the pandemic, so you can create a virtual shoebox that will be created and given to someone in need.
6: Write a Letter of Gratitude to a Soldier or Veteran
A number of charities ask the public to support soldiers and veterans, to lend moral support, and show them that we care about their contributions to our peace and security. Showing gratitude is always a rewarding, healthy experience for the giver as well as the recipient. For this virtual volunteer idea, you can learn about a soldier or veteran through an app or online program and write a letter of gratitude to connect with them personally and show you and your family’s support for their service.
Are you a volunteer looking to discover a new adventure? It’s time you discovered Golden, the world’s most awarded volunteer program.
7: Consider Virtual Volunteering Ideas for Counseling
Listening to others in need and providing compassion and linkages to resources can save lives; it is some of the most meaningful work a volunteer can do. You may be thinking that you are not a trained psychologist or social worker, so you cannot help the millions of people who are suffering through a crisis.
However, thousands of charities across the United States will globally train any individual with compassion, a willingness to learn, and time to dedicate from their home. You can specialize as a general crisis counselor for an intake center for crisis calls, or you can work for a more specific charity operating a hotline for suicide prevention, domestic violence, the LGBTQ+ community, or substance abuse. Many charities are now making the training virtual, so you may never have to leave your home.
8: Serve as a Virtual Mentor
If you like the idea of connecting with people, but counseling is not your calling, you may consider virtual volunteering ideas from mentorship programs. Thousands of national charities and local nonprofits alike regularly post opportunities to connect with a like-minded teenager or other interest group and help them navigate life or a specific process.
Programs are especially helpful for underserved youth whose caretakers may not have time or resources to support them in their academic interests. This is a fantastic method for high-level professionals who have limited time but want to give back or are tasked to do so by their corporate offices, to support people in need with their skills.
Often all the children really need is an adult presence to help guide them with life skills. Just a little bit of extra attention and support works wonders to bridge the achievement gap for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
If you like to craft, you can probably find an opportunity to make sellable products or event products for a cause at home.
9: Help Plan a Fundraising Event
Most of the details of a fundraising event, and often the event itself, can happen from home offices. If you have administrative skills, personal skills, or just a party-planning attitude, you might consider looking for opportunity posts for fundraising events for virtual volunteering ideas. Nonprofits usually need help in areas like sponsorship development, designing invitations and event materials, and outreach through social media. They may need volunteers to call or text potential participants and donors.
You might also be able to connect with virtual fundraisers like virtual marathons. These events enable you to plan or participate in a marathon or similar fundraising event virtually. Participants track their hours toward a goal on an app and verify the total time logged. This is a new, flexible way that marathoners, especially new ones, can engage sponsors for a cause.
10: Put Together a Birthday Box for a Child
Organizations working with vulnerable children, such as homeless, foster or orphaned children, may have a program to sponsor a child’s birthday. You and your children can offer to purchase gifts from a wish list and personalize the box with compassion and care, to help the young one through what otherwise might be a joyless occasion.
Similar to the holiday shoeboxes, local programs, such as ones through your church, will often let you deliver the package yourselves. Other programs are entirely virtual. They might ask that you purchase the gifts online and have them sent to their office in a gift box.
11: Volunteer Your Technology Expertise
With so many opportunities on the virtual landscape, many nonprofits are in need of those with technology skills. Whether it is web development, IT support, or even metrics set-up and monitoring, charities will be grateful for anything you can provide in this area. You will be able to save money for your favorite nonprofit, give back, and gain skills along the way with this virtual volunteering idea.
12: Donate Your Expertise to a Charity
Do you have a useful skill? Often charities are looking to save on the bottom line and can use help with marketing, writing, research, and other professional functions that you can help with from your home office. Again, these are great virtual volunteering ideas for busy professionals who may have a goal through their company to volunteer a certain set of hours. It is also helpful for retired seniors or stay-at-home parents who may be bored and looking to use professional skills a few hours a week.
The Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Virtual Volunteering
Now we have outlined a few great virtual volunteering ideas, but you still may be wondering what exactly it entails. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help.
- How do you define virtual volunteering? Volunteering is any activity that is not mandatory by your employer as part of your job description, and for which you are not requesting a fee for service. It can be a wide range of activities. There are more than a dozen types of volunteering. Virtual volunteering is any activity within those opportunities that you can complete over the Internet from wherever you like. You may not be sitting at a computer to complete the activity, but you will connect virtually for the administrative details of the project as opposed to going to a nonprofit center to perform the work.
- Why might a group volunteer virtually? Virtual volunteering became popular out of necessity because we could not physically be together during the pandemic. Nonprofits had to become creative in finding ways for people to still engage with their cause and started offering virtual volunteering ideas.
They learned through the pandemic and afterward that virtual volunteering can help save on costs and also opens up new possibilities for people who otherwise might not be able to volunteer. Usually, these opportunities offer the most flexibility for people with busy schedules and/or limited transportation. Stay-at-home parents, seniors, and others can engage easier.
Also, it helps connect people across geographical regions and opens up new ways to support people in other states and other countries. Ex-patriots and immigrants, for instance, might want to help their local area of birth but cannot physically be there. Virtual volunteering gives them a way to be with the people they know and love without actually being there.
- How can I volunteer remotely? You can use a volunteer platform like Golden to connect to thousands of opportunities. Here is a video on how Golden works. It applies the most innovative technology on the market to instantly link to any user across a wide variety of platforms and social media apps. You can sort opportunities by type, geography, and interest area. This way, you can see any virtual opportunity open in your area or globally to help a cause that aligns with you and your skills.
- How can I find volunteer opportunities for which I qualify? Golden will help you understand any necessary skills or certifications to be eligible for a volunteer opportunity. You can integrate your resume and skills by answering a few simple questions and creating a unique profile in only a few minutes. If you need a background check, you can receive one on the system and automatically show your qualifications.
Online mentoring is a fantastic way to give back to children and help them learn new skills.
Virtual Volunteering Ideas - Fun, Inspiring Ways from Home to Connect with Causes
The virtual volunteer ideas outlined in this article are just some of the thousands of ways you can support the causes you care about, from the safety and comfort of your own home.
Platforms like Golden make it simple to explore opportunities and connect to different causes. You can even create your own virtual volunteering ideas on the platform and reach out to charities to see if they are interested in working with you.
What is more, Golden gives the opportunity to earn rewards through volunteer work, through a gamification program, Karats. When you complete hours and opportunity events, you earn points towards potential rewards, which range from meeting famous celebrities to earning tickets to popular sporting events. Just click on this link to join Golden today.