Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference

PinExt Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference

If you have some time, a desire to make a difference, and access to a computer then you can become a virtual volunteer.  Many organizations need individuals to share their time and talents to complete a wide variety of assignments via the Internet.  According to some of the sites I visited, volunteers are needed in researching topics, editing documents, developing web sites, writing proposals, creating curriculum, tutoring students, designing graphics, and editing video just to name a few possibilities.  In addition, organizations need online volunteers with legal, financial, environmental, information technology, and project management expertise.  If you have skills in any of these areas, you might consider getting involved.

windowslivewriterbecomeavirtualvolunteerandmakearealdiffe 136eachild 3 Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference In one story I read, a team of virtual volunteers from seven different countries translated all the resources on the Shine a Light web site, two virtual books, and five DVD courses into multiple languages including Spanish and Portuguese.  Shine a Light is a network of over 200 non-profit organizations in Latin America that serve homeless children.  This project increased the knowledge sharing between the members of Shine a Light which boosted their overall effectiveness.

In another story, a virtual volunteer created a web site for Freedom from Hunger, a non-profit that brings innovative, self-help solutions to several countries around the world in the fight against chronic hunger and poverty.  The volunteer worked closely with the organization to optimize the site for low-bandwidth and to get the site ranked on popular search engines which helps them reach more people with their message.  He also created a maintenance tool so the organization can avoid paying technical support fees to update the site.  This is a great story of how just one person can make a great impact.

Virtual volunteering seems like a neat idea.  I have volunteered in various ways around my community through my employer and my church, but online volunteering opens up many more unique opportunities.  It also provides a way to reach out to people and organizations in other countries.  Having done a little traveling, I have seen just how tough it can be in some of these countries and they certainly do not have a social system like we have in America to turn to.  It seems painless enough and based on the examples above I think it is possible to make a difference.

Here are some links to sites where you can find out more about virtual volunteering and research opportunities to get involved.

  1. UN Volunteers – Here you can find volunteer assignments posted by organizations working through the United Nations to aid people in countries around the world.  The first example above won an online volunteering service award from the U.N. in 2007.
  2. VolunteerMatch – This site is a database full of opportunities to volunteer online or otherwise.  It also has some great stories about how volunteers are making a difference.  If you are specifically looking for virtual opportunities, then scroll down and click the Search Virtual Opportunities link.
  3. ServiceLeader.org Virtual Volunteering – ServiceLeader.org is a community service project through the School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.  This site is packed with information about virtual volunteering.  If you work for a non-profit, it has a lot of good information on how to get started using virtual volunteers.

windowslivewriterbecomeavirtualvolunteerandmakearealdiffe 136eavolunteer 3 Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference These are good places to start and should provide you with all the information you need to find a volunteer assignment that fits your skill set.  I assure you that no matter what it is that you do, you have what it takes to help one or more of these organizations.  Volunteering is a super way to help others and make yourself feel better along the way.  Virtual volunteering breaks the geographic barriers and makes all kinds of new and exciting assignments available to all of us that frequent the Internet.  Happy volunteering!

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Photos by PrASanGaM and Kaleo Murrieta

PinExt Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference

23 thoughts on “Become a Virtual Volunteer and Make a Real Difference

  1. Neat article Jeff. Volunteering is one of those things that always gets pushed to the back burner in my life. I’m hoping to get myself to a position that I don’t have to work so hard and can do some volunteering.

  2. Pingback: How To Become A Virtual Volunteer. | The Good Human

    • I’m ALWAYS looking for volunteers that can crochet or quilt blankets, hats, mittens, toys, clothing for my orphanages. Please check out the website, you can volunteer without ever leaving your home and still make a difference in the lives of little ones.
      (www.ContagiousHope.com)

  3. Hi, thanks for this article. I’m based in Michigan & I have a new non-profit devoted to a cause within South Africa. I recently posted volunteer openings & received a few applicants from overseas. I previously had not thought about utilizing a virtual volunteer but I loved the idea and have been just trying to figure out ways to best use these great people who are interested in advancing my organization’s effort from abroad.

    I appreciate the ideas!

  4. @Johnette – That is awesome! I am so glad that you left a comment and let me know that you benefited from this article. It is truly amazing how these things work out. I took a look at your site and it looks like you are doing something really incredible.

  5. If you are looking for another way to volunteer online, check out Kiva’s volunteer translation program (www.kiva.org/volunteer).

    One of the New York Times Magazine’s “Top Ideas of 2006,” Kiva.org is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world.

    The Kiva Translation Program offers the opportunity to use your skills to make a direct contribution, improve language skills, network with other Kiva volunteers and build your resume.

    Volunteering from their own homes, Kiva volunteers translate entrepreneurs’ profiles into English, which are then posted for funding at Kiva.org.

    Read Tamara´s latest article – Carlota : Peru

  6. Hey guys,

    Yes I urge you all who can to get involved.

    I due to distance and health am unable to get physically involved at ground level but I currenlty spend around 20 hours each month doing website work for NGO’s.

    I love it and you will to.

    Get involved, you’ll grow from the experience.

    Cheers
    mark

  7. I am just wondering how much any type of volunteer work will suffer now due to the current economic situation. People are having to look for jobs with the time they used to use for volunteer work.

  8. With Michelle Obama’s, influence I think more people will look for ways to be of assistance to non-profit organizations who need help. Youtube has a video volunteer program which will allow people to make a video for a cause.

  9. Jeff:

    Loved your article but didn’t see any links to sign up!

    We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit cat rescue organization in need of someone to help us write grants! How do we sign up?

    Thanks,

    Susan

    Don’t breed or buy while they still die! Opt to adopt from your local shelter or rescue!

  10. I am looking for volunteers who can spend just a couple of hours onlie every week. I spent 3 years in Nepal and have adopted schools & orphanages that i want to help. All my family told me i am crazy but from myself working online i have successfully funded an orphanage for two months by arranging a volunteer. I would like to find like minded people who want to do the same. It doesnt cost anything just a little time and can help so much.
    Want to know more then email wayne_guttridge@hotmail.com

  11. This is a extremly interesting post, I found it browsing through Bing. I think most people will agree with your views. Finally – a person with common sense!
    PS I quite like the template you are using – where did you get it from?

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  13. Check out https://www.braintest.org for opportunities to volunteer in online research studies! The goal of Brain Test is to gain valuable information from a broad range of people that will help researchers to tackle the world’s most challenging problems in neuropsychiatry, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Explore your brain and help advance science!

  14. Pingback: Roundup: Identity Theft, March Madness and Gas Prices

  15. Hi, this is a great article. We have many who have made great contributions to African communities whilst expanding their knowledge on areas like healthcare, culture and international aid work, volunteering through our volunteer abroad projects.
    We think the audience on our platform and our facebook page would love to read about experiences of many others. sharing ideas and passion for change. We need a couple more volunteers to help make our facebook page lively and lovely for people who are interested in volunteering. would be glad if you will be interested. We offer free volunteering, using our fundraiser tool to cover airfare, host, etc expenses

  16. We have many who have made great contributions to African communities whilst expanding their knowledge on areas like healthcare, culture and international aid work, volunteering through our volunteer abroad projects.
    We think the audience on our platform and our facebook page would love to read about experiences of many others. sharing ideas and passion for change. We offer free volunteering, using our fundraiser tool to cover airfare, host, etc expenses

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