Virtual volunteer work is transforming the humanitarian world by using technology to bridge gaps
You aways wanted to some volunteer work but your life and office restrictions never allowed you to? Just become a virtual volunteer.
Even if you are already a nomad, so traveling is not an issue, but you cannot leave your work for days at a time, consider online volunteering by a way to give back while keeping your business.
Any skill you already have at your work or business can be useful for humanitarian institutions, from coding, design, funnel creation, mailing list, you name it.
There are many resources to look for opportunities so we’ll share our recommendations further down.
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The digital revolution as made possible to globalise volunteer work. It become accessible to all digital professionals and it created this new concept of Digital Volunteer.
By definition from Wikipedia (an organisation largely supported by digital volunteers) :
” refers to volunteer activities completed, in whole or in part, using the Internet and a home, school, telecenter, or work computer or other Internet-connected device, such as a smart-phone (a cell phone with Internet functions) or personal digital assistant (PDA).Virtual volunteering is also known as online volunteering, remote volunteering or e-volunteering.”
The digital revolution has made volunteering more accessible — wherever and whenever. … The organizations that are thriving are the ones who are utilizing digitalnew digital volunteer opportunities and who make it easy to find their volunteeropportunities online
Volunteer work is vast, you can virtually (pun intended) do everything you do online for an institution that needs it.
Using United Nations as reference for the most demanded areas:
- Art and design
- Community organizing
- Leadership and strategy
- Outreach and advocacy
- Project development and management
- Teaching and training
- Technology and development
- Writing and editing
We’ll show the best resources for looking for volunteer opportunities to properly use your time and will to help.
But basically it will not be very far away from job applications, without all the stress markers that categorise normal job interviews.
Although the normal volunteer placements from United Nations include monthly allowances, that does not normally apply for online positions.
But once you are in the system, meaning you have volunteered for UN you have easier access to many other opportunities.
I you still want to volunteer but need to have a source of online income check our article about the best job for it.
Benefits of virtual volunteering
Pajama Volunteer – There are many ways of approaching the benefits of vi online volunteer work, but for me the main one is that you can give back to our society without even leaving your home. You can literally be a pajama volunteer.
Work Experience – That’s the altruist benefit, but then we have the more pragmatic one, you are getting work experience. Imagine that you have some social marketing skills but want to improve while doing your unrelated main work or business.
Personal development – Virtually or not you will be dealing with a complete different reality that you are used to, you will be exposed to different cultures and different approaches to problems. It will not be as intense as in loco, but it will happen nevertheless. Something like travelling without leaving home.
Do your homework before comiting to any project
Research the organisation in detail – unfortunately there are many scams in the volunteer industry so you need to avoid that. Check for references or consumer reports of the nonprofit world.
Detail how the work will be performed and tracked – it may sound unreasonable to talk about this with volunteer work, but remember: it’s still work even if unpaid. And if you are doing it you may be taking the opportunity for someone else to do it. So to keep the right expetactions from both ends go in detail as if a paid job was in consideration
Be sure you have the right skills – if you follow the 4 questions we refer in our main volunteer work article you will find one that says: would you do this kind of work at your own company or country? Don’t think that volunteer work is unskilled because it is not, be sure you are helping out, not wasting time and lives