There is still a debate over the effectiveness of online volunteering since the results of virtual volunteering might not be direct and viewing its outcome is not immediate. Going out to help the community, and spending time with the NGOs, is what volunteering traditionally has been. These projects didn't require any inherent skills to be effective and make a difference.
Virtual volunteering has been a valuable way for NGOs to share the burden of a few time-consuming and expensive tasks by onboarding volunteers. This has freed up time and a budget for the organization to focus on making a direct social impact on the community and its beneficiaries.
Let us look at some ways in which you can use your existing skills or acquired ones to make an impact. This method of volunteering is referred to as skill-based volunteering.
- Web Designing and Development.
If you are someone who is a coder, or you know how to create or update a website, such volunteer programs would be a perfect fit for you. Many NGOs find it difficult to create and constantly update their websites due to budget and funding difficulties or lack of human resources. A good website can help attract donors and create awareness about these non-profits. Volunteer opportunities that involve coding and designing, which are in your niche, can be some of the best virtual volunteer opportunities for you.
- Audio and Video Editing
There are a lot of NGOs working on the sidelines to make a real social impact. These efforts are usually documented by them, but publishing their work is an effort as they might not have the necessary tools, software, or knowledge. Hiring a professional is also not an option due to budget constraints. As a person in possession of such skill sets, donating your time and intellect can be largely beneficial for nonprofits to showcase their efforts to potential donors or volunteers.
- Social Media Marketing
With most people around the world now using at least one social media platform, nonprofits with social media presence are at a slight advantage when it comes to seeking donors, volunteers, or publishing a success story to reach a wider audience. Some NGOs have a social media presence, but struggle to be consistent with their content and posts. People who are interested in social media marketing and have the required knowledge and skill sets for it, such virtual volunteer programs can be a perfect fit for them!
- Graphic Design
NGOs are on a constant lookout for designers who have a good understanding of color theory, image composition, and typography. Creating content for their social media pages or their websites requires graphic designers who are proficient and understand the fundamentals of design. In addition, the software programs used by designers aren't easy enough to be learned by everyone. Online volunteering as a graphic designer, on a long-term or short-term basis, can help the nonprofit market itself better.
- Management and Strategy development
Most nonprofits have an end goal but find it hard to map out, on their own, the means of getting there. This can become very discouraging for some nonprofits to continue on their mission. As a result, those in need might not get the aid and support they require. By volunteering your management and strategy development skills, you can help such nonprofits create a structure and a strategy to move forward and accomplish their goals. These can be management strategies, marketing strategies, or a plan for any place in which the NGO feels they are slacking and need a boost.
While virtual volunteering may not give immediate benefits to aid beneficiaries, it is difficult to dispute that it has a tremendously good impact on both charities and volunteers. According to a report on the 'Impact of UN Volunteers Online,' 46% of recipient organizations valued the cost-effectiveness of virtual volunteering, and 41% valued having access to technical skills that were not accessible internally.
If you are looking to make a social impact on a global scale, consider signing up as a volunteer at Chezuba! We have an array of projects posted by nonprofits from across the world you can choose from. You have the option of selecting projects based on your skill sets or interests. Sign up with us today!