Many people believe that the only way to get involved with community support projects is through physical labor, on-site work, or other non-social-distance-compliant kinds of work. But the reality is that modern technology has made distanced, remote, and virtual communities more powerful than ever before, and you can find inspiration for local involvement in the works that these communities have done. So read on for some ideas and concepts in virtual volunteering that could help bring your community together, from afar.
Organize Virtual Volunteer Work
There are hundreds of established volunteer organizations, most of which have adjusted to the new normal very well – or already had virtual programs in place:
- The United Nations runs a virtual program connecting volunteers to organizations all over the world. Tasks include translation, writing/editing, technology services, research, and more!
- The Red Cross utilizes digital volunteers to monitor online discussions of disasters – volunteers can help locate and track important updates on social media.
- The Smithsonian Institute is nearly always open to new volunteers, who can help by transcribing historical documents or updating wikipedia pages with new information.
These are just a few of the major current virtual volunteer programs, but there are countless others out there – look into some causes close to home that could use the same kinds of work. Bring together your community by finding a cause that everybody can help out with, or maybe find a day that everyone can work on their own volunteer work together.
Speak Out Online
Advocacy is a critical part of volunteering – nobody can help a cause they aren’t aware of. Take the time to consider your passions and what you have overcome. Write about your experience and share it with the world, maybe you can convince others to donate, share, or get involved themselves. Even if you don’t have such an experience, you can help elevate other voices and take part in supporting advocacy groups of all kinds.
Small non-profit organizations likely won’t have the same online presence as the larger groups, but they can often use help in other ways. Idealist.org has an excellent listing page for virtual volunteer work of all kinds, and for all organization sizes. This usually requires you have a certain skill set – coding, graphic design, or writing skills are often in demand for all organization sizes.
There is no shortage of opportunities to help out, you just have to take the time to do your research and put your mind to it.