During Giving November, we’ve been focused on ways to be grateful and give back by giving away your money, your stuff, and even your time.
Organizations need volunteers now more than ever. But, due to COVID-19, many people either aren’t able or willing to volunteer. Furthermore, some organizations can’t accept traditional volunteers.
So how can you make a difference without donating money or volunteering in person? The answer is virtual volunteering.
How to Volunteer Online
There are many organizations with online volunteer opportunities. But how can you find opportunities?
Here are 13 ways you can volunteer online.
Call or Email Local Organizations
Many nonprofits are still trying to figure out how to move traditional volunteering opportunities to remote volunteer work. Some organizations were able to pivot quickly during COVID-19. Others are in the process of setting up complete online platforms to facilitate volunteering. So, if there is an organization you would like to volunteer with, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask if there are ways to volunteer virtually.
Use an Online Volunteering Platform
The organizations or platforms below will help you find the best remote volunteering opportunities for you.
United Nations Online Volunteering
Perhaps the most global and respected organization, the United Nations offers a platform to help you match yourself with online volunteer opportunities.
Do Something (for Youth)
For youth who are inspired to volunteer, the organization Do Something offers a way to search for virtual opportunities.
Volunteer Match is like Craigslist for volunteer organizations. There are a large number of posts that aren’t curated, but it’s a great place to start your search.
Catch a Fire
Catch a Fire is similar to Volunteer Match, but is more curated. It focuses on professional skills. Those who have marketing, branding, and web design skills will find many opportunities. Some projects take as little as an hour to complete.
AARP – Create the Good
AARP’s Create the Good isn’t exclusive to virtual volunteering. However, the filter function within the search results allows you to select only those opportunities you can do from the comfort of your home.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a phenomenal organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth. They now have opportunities to volunteer remotely.
With so many children distance learning, parents who are working full time will benefit greatly from StorriTime. For seniors who have time on their hands, StorriTime is a great way to give back. This nonprofit connects seniors (anyone over 50) with children under 13 for virtual storytime.
After completing a 30-hour training program, you can provide crisis support to individuals reaching out to Crisis Textline.
AllforGood/Points of Light
If you are specifically looking for virtual volunteering supporting organizations in your area, check out AllforGood and use their location search.
While many virtual volunteering organizations are for socially inclined nonprofits, Zooniverse is for science and research. Check out the opportunities to tag animals. It is not only fun and easy, but it is also great to do with kids.
Smithsonian has a page with several different virtual volunteer opportunities focused more on history, science, and research.
If you are in a particular profession (such as a doctor, accountant, or lawyer), check out the state or national website for your key accreditation organization or association. Sites like these will help you find online volunteering opportunities that require your unique skills.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities to support charities without having to leave your home. This Thanksgiving weekend (and beyond), spend some time giving back by volunteering remotely with one of the organizations above.