In 2020, we find ourselves in a unique and timely position that makes our university-wide call to action more critical than ever before. Given the state of uncertainty of safety related to the global coronavirus pandemic, we are urging our community to explore virtual volunteering as a safe alternative to providing in person volunteer support to whatever cause you feel most compelled by. Learn more about virtual volunteering, or sometimes known as remote volunteering below.
What is virtual volunteering?
Sometimes remote and virtual volunteering are interchangeable. Remote volunteering can also be described as projects completed individually or with families at home to benefit the community at large or a specific organization or cause.
What is remote volunteering?
Sometimes remote and virtual volunteering are interchangeable. Remote volunteering can also be described as projects completed individually, with families at home, or in neighborhoods to benefit the community at large or a specific organization or cause.
What is the benefit of virtual volunteering?
Virtual volunteering provides more opportunities for people across geographical boundaries to get involved without the limitations of schedules or travel to an on-site location.
How do I go about setting up my own virtual volunteer project?
See the Global Days of Service Volunteer Guide for helpful direction (see page 5).
What are examples of virtual volunteer projects?
- Direct engagement
- Online tutoring or mentoring
- Hotline support or phone calls checking in on vulnerable populations
- Online workshops or training sessions for learners of all ages
- Asynchronous engagement
- Record yourself reading a book for children
- Create a virtual field trip experience using your phone to record
- Technical support
- Transcribe videos, audio, or written work into digital format
- Conduct research (article ideas, website section, grants, market/purchasing, curriculum)
- Develop a spreadsheet
- Marketing, communications, website or database development/support
- Skill-based consulting
- Telehealth counseling
- Edit documents, write articles, proposals, scripts, website materials, etc.
- Curriculum development or create teaching videos of your expertise for learners of all ages
- Artistic support – writing songs, creating or producing a video
- Provide legal, business, medical, agricultural, financial or any other expertise
- Donation drives
- Create a virtual wish list and send out the list to a group of people
- Put together comfort kits for vulnerable populations
- Create cards, notes of encouragement, or other craft to send to a group in need of comfort, encouragement, or other kind of support
- Sew/make blankets, masks, or other winter accessories for groups/people in need
Search engines for finding existing virtual volunteer projects
Check out some of these interesting virtual volunteer opportunities
- 7 Cups – Become an online listener and provide emotional support via online chat to those in need.
- Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) – Key data needed by humanitarian workers addressing critical needs during a crisis or disaster, as well as data needed by other development workers and researchers, is often trapped in PDF documents. Volunteers extract this data into a database so that it can be easily found, helping anyone to visualize trend lines across regions or countries and compare this data to other indicators.
- OpenMRS – A worldwide network of volunteers from many different backgrounds and disciplines supporting the world’s largest and most flexible electronic medical record system to support delivery of health care in some of the most challenging environments on the planet.
- Smithsonian Transcription Center – Volunteer as a digital transcriber for the Smithsonian to help make historical documents and biodiverse data accessible.
- Zooniverse – The world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers. With our wide-ranging and ever-expanding suite of projects, covering many disciplines and topics across the sciences and humanities.
Find more opportunities and ideas in our Global Days of Service Volunteer Guide (see page 4).
Additional resources by GivePulse (host of WeCAN)