If this question of “why should I become a virtual volunteer” has crossed your mind then chances are you have either volunteered in person before or are considering volunteering virtually. If the former is true, you probably already know the benefits of volunteering firsthand and have experienced the infamous helper’s high. But in case you have recently come across the concept of virtual volunteering and are wondering what it might entail, you are at the right place.
In recent years, the way in which we view volunteering has undergone a significant change. We have gone from having to physically visit nonprofit organizations to volunteering, needing to find a way to give back to the community from the safety of our homes. The nonprofit sector has also come a long way in adjusting to the new requirements and the way they view volunteering. It has become a lot easier for nonprofits to post a volunteering project online as the digital space has always been booming with potential and talent.
In this blog, we will discuss what virtual volunteering is, how it works, the pros of volunteering virtually and how you can become a virtual volunteer.
What Is Virtual Volunteering?
The concept of 'virtual volunteering', also known as 'online volunteering' or 'digital volunteering' began with Project Gutenberg, as they were recruiting volunteers in the 90′s. They were soon followed by the launch of UN Online Volunteers in 2000. Yet the movement gained large popularity with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The form of volunteering that allows a person to contribute their time, talents, and skills, via the connectivity of the internet is known as virtual volunteering. Here, volunteers support the causes that are important to them by offering their skills.
How Does Virtual Volunteering Work?
Volunteering in person is deemed a traditional form of volunteering as now the more modern form of volunteering is virtual. This means, traveling to a local food bank or a shelter and physically meeting the people you are helping is the traditional volunteering approach. With the arrival of the pandemic and all operations that could be performed from the safety of one's homes made the transition and with all the technological advancements available, accessing volunteering opportunities virtually was also made easy.
Unlike any onsite requirements, virtual volunteering strives to take a very straightforward approach. Most of the volunteering opportunities that are posted have a minimum requirement of an internet connection, a skill you wish to volunteer, and a philanthropic mindset.
Virtual volunteers are generally at a unique standpoint where they can volunteer for organizations both local and international.
Some virtual volunteering project examples are:
- Designing (Web & Graphic)
- Content writing
- website and app development
- Video creating and editing
- data entry and analytics
- Digital and social media management
These are just a few examples of how you can contribute but there are a vast array of options available.
Benefits Of Volunteering Online
Our abilities are no longer constrained by our location thanks to the internet, which has allowed us to accomplish so much more in such a short amount of time. As a result of society's use of technology, more skill sets have emerged. Thus, volunteering is no longer solely about doing physical work or going to events. Let's look at some of the pros of volunteering virtually
- Opportunities to volunteer globally
One of the most sought-after features of volunteering online is the fact that anyone can volunteer at any time, from anywhere. The digital model of communication allows one to transcend borders and gain a wider reach. Virtual volunteering makes volunteering internationally possible. All you need to do is choose a skill you want to volunteer for, a cause you would like to for, and use a volunteer platform that can connect you to nonprofits from around the world.
- Flexibility in timings
Virtual volunteering is a fantastic choice for time-constrained individuals who are busy. Micro-volunteering tasks frequently last little longer than 30 minutes, and online volunteering platforms like Chezuba are absolutely clear about the amount of time required for each function. For diverse tasks, this can range from 1 to 5 hours per week to 20 hours.
- Accessibility and convenience
Unlike traditional volunteering, people can contribute a spare hour or two from the comfort of their own homes whenever they have time, without having to travel great distances or commit to a rigid schedule.
Because of the nature of virtual volunteering, anyone with a laptop, a skill, and an internet connection may contribute significantly to a cause they support, regardless of their level of physical fitness. This means that individuals with disabilities who might have a lot to contribute but have previously found it difficult to volunteer the traditional way, now have a way to use their talents without ever leaving their homes through virtual volunteering.
- Skill-based contribution
Online volunteer opportunities are frequently extremely skill-based. Activities like translation, graphic design, and copywriting are commonly posted for volunteers to contribute. Because it doesn't require expensive, time-consuming training, it is the ideal approach for people who work in these fields to support a cause and provide their skills. It is a simple and rewarding way to use your existing skills to help others.
How You Can Become A Virtual Volunteer
Nonprofit organizations are always looking for volunteers with the skills and expertise to help their organizations and take them to the next level. As someone who possesses the skills and knowledge, any nonprofit organization would be happy to welcome you on board. Finding the right volunteering opportunity for you is only a matter of knowing where to look.
Knowing what cause or program you wish to support can be extremely beneficial. You must focus on an area you would like to contribute, whether you would like to support causes that work for the environment or want to encourage education in other nations. Along with these factors, think about your own interests, time commitment, and personal goals for your life and career.
Once you have a clear understanding of your personal goals and bandwidth, you can now pick an area of expertise that you would like to volunteer for. This can range anywhere from some basic design work to designing and developing an app for a nonprofit.
If you wish to volunteer virtually, Chezuba is the perfect place for you. With over 7000 nonprofit organizations from more than 95 countries, you can choose to take your skills global and help people from all over the world. Join our network of Chezuba volunteers to be a part of the change.