The past few years since 2020, have changed a lot for most of us. Many of us are still at home or home more often. Things have shifted even more towards the virtual world. If you’re looking for a sense of purpose or an alternative to your previous volunteer efforts, consider volunteering online, from the comfort, and safety, of your home.
Virtual volunteer opportunities abound in nearly every field of interest, from wildlife, art, and education, to translating, counseling, tutoring, and international aid. The online volunteering information below can serve as a volunteer match guide for you or other community volunteers who need or want to switch to virtual volunteering.
Volunteering online allows you to donate your time and talents to a cause that matters to you, which means you can make a difference even if you can’t physically go somewhere to volunteer. Our detailed list below will cover different online volunteering opportunities to learn about several different ways you can make a real impact through online volunteer opportunities. This is not an extensive list of virtual opportunities but can help get you started on finding the best way for you to get involved. We have included a wide variety of online volunteering opportunities in hopes you can find a good match.
1. Online Volunteering Opportunities: Caring Calls
A wonderful virtual volunteer opportunity, that requires no professional skills or special training can be found through Caring Calls. This organization, founded by DOROT and is quite simple and brilliant in its focus. Volunteers are asked to commit to just 20-30 minutes per week, of making calls and connecting with lonely, sometimes isolated elderly persons. Loneliness and isolation has been shown to have a very detrimental effect on one’s health.
If you’d like to get involved it is really as simple as accessing a brief volunteer orientation and making the time. They also have new opportunities specifically directed towards underserved communities such as the older LGBTQ+ population.
2. Online Volunteering: United Nations Volunteers
If you want to make an impact worldwide, all without leaving home, the UN Volunteer organization relies on virtual volunteers just like you. UNV is a great place to start if you are a little unsure of exactly where or how to connect with a specific cause.
Whether its writing, research, art, design, or translating there are many virtual volunteer opportunities to look into. Digital volunteers can browse through an abundance of opportunities and be connected to a great match for their skill set. UNV links volunteers with online volunteer opportunities that best match their interests and skills.
3. Virtual Volunteering: Career Village
Career village is in need of online volunteers from a wide variety of career paths. This is such an interesting and unique concept to help out youth and young adults. Basically, kids will submit questions to career village and you as the volunteer online will get a notification and opportunity to answer their questions. It’s almost like a virtual career fair.
Another upside for a busy schedule is that you can chose when and how often to participate. Your answers will be available for other students to access as well. High school students looking into various career paths can get insight that can be really helpful. Volunteer coaches can make a huge impact on young people aspiring to reach their academic or career goals.
The national sexual assault hotline, which is operated by RAINN is always in need of virtual volunteers willing to put in necessary effort to help victims and their families in a time of crisis. Volunteers will receive extensive training and should be prepared to commit a minimum of 10 hours per month for an 18 month period.
As a virtual volunteer you will answer calls to provide support for victims of sexual assault and their loved ones. With a lot of support and crisis intervention training you can assist people in a time of great need. Good communication skills and internet connection are really the only criteria to get started, they will provide all necessary training and ongoing guidance.
5. Translators without Borders
Another virtual volunteering path can be found through Translators without Borders, which relies on an online community service that assists in translating everything from medical transcripts to crisis response scripts.
If you are fluent in any other language than your native one, you can complete an online translator application form. There are also various opportunities for those who are not bilingual or trilingual. You can help open doors that language barriers keep closed and never leave your home.
6. Sighted Volunteers: Be My Eyes
This is a free app that matches blind or low vision individuals with sighted volunteers to provide visual assistance via video calls. Sighted volunteers will join live video calls and answer requests from visually impaired individuals. This may include distinguishing between colors, reading instructions, navigating an unfamiliar area, or checking a food label.
A virtual volunteer will quite literally be the eyes for a person with limited or impaired vision and help them navigate their world a little more easily. To get involved check the Be My Eyes website and download the app to start virtual volunteering.
7. Virtual Volunteering: The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteer peer counselors to connect and help youth navigate through tough times and prevent self harm and suicide. Volunteers will complete a virtual crisis management training and some educational sessions to prepare to help LGBTQ youth in need. Online volunteers need to commit to a minimum of 3 hour shift per week for one year.
A virtual volunteer can assist up to 100 kids or more who otherwise may not receive any emotional support in their lives. You will be fully supported through the training period and supervised at first while answering a young person who calls in for support. The crisis intervention training is world class and suicide prevention services available to assist any remote volunteer during their shifts.
8. Virtual Volunteer Opportunities: Oakwood Educational Foundation
If teaching and inspiring are your passion one of the best virtual volunteer opportunities can be found at Oakwood Educational Foundation. Their mission is to overcome educational inequalities by providing volunteer mentors who provide completely free educational tutoring.
The online volunteers are matched up to best utilize their talents, interests and passions in order to inspire a love of learning in an underprivileged young person and give them the tools to reach their goals. With online tutoring, you can help a child get or stay on track in their educational journey and volunteer remotely from the comfort of your own home.
9. Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
The Smithsonian has volunteer projects which digital volunteers can take on from home! Who knew? There are several opportunities, some require some special skills or knowledge, but others do not. You can assist in expanding access to their massive collections. From transcription work to garden archives detective work, to the Smithsonian Wikipedian volunteer program. There are several virtual volunteer projects to check into and you can help the Smithsonian’s mission.
10. Virtual Volunteer Opportunities with Animals
ZSL Intant Wild is a conservation organization that relies on volunteers identifying and tagging animals in both videos and still photographs. While this seems like a specialty field, don’t worry you can be trained with helpful field guides for your specific project. Watching wildlife videos while contributing and volunteering doesn’t sound too bad.
You can also volunteer virtually with Zooniverse https://www.zooniverse.org/ which recruits volunteers to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science projects. An online volunteer can assist with identifying endangered animals, or even classifying galaxy systems. Even high school volunteers are welcomed and needed at Zooniverse and the people powered research can be facilitated through their app.
11. Volunteer Opportunities: The Arts
Artistically inclined volunteers can use their talents and passion for creativity and the arts to inspire others or cheer their spirits. High school volunteers can check out Color A Smile to print, color, sign, and mail a cheerful picture to senior citizens, troops overseas, or anyone else in need of a smile.
Cards for a Cause is a similar program for the crafty that distributes cheerful cards to sick kids. There is no limit to the number of cards and they take care of all the distributing for you. Volunteer opportunities for the arts can also be found through volunteer advisors with search engines like Catch A Fire or Volunteer Match. If you are a fine artist or crafty, you can even remote volunteer to teach a course or give free art instruction to underprivileged youth or senior citizens.
12. Tarjimly Virtual Volunteering
Tarjimly helps connect translators or interpreters to assist refugees, asylees, and immigrants. As a virtual volunteer you get a notification that someone is in need of your skills and has made a translation request. This might be a text, document or live call, once you see the notification you can accept or decline depending on your availability.
Helping eliminate language barriers for immigrants and humanitarians is the mission of Tarjimly and virtual volunteers play a major role in their success. Remote translators are even more vital in these times of shutdowns, travel restrictions, other restrictions, and economic hardship.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
This list of virtual volunteering ideas has highlighted some of the best virtual volunteer opportunities out there currently. While it is not a complete list this will surely get you started in the right direction.
If any of these ideas jump out to you or intrigue you, make sure to follow up and explore the remote volunteer world. There is so much we can all do and contribute to making this world a better place.
The best advice for online volunteers is to find your niche, you are more likely to stay engaged, and make a bigger impact if you are interested or connected to the cause. Make certain that you can make a proper commitment, because the organization relies on volunteers and following through is imperative.
Whether you have interests abroad with united nations volunteers or something close to home, your time and talents will be greatly appreciated. In these busy and chaotic times volunteer remotely and know that you are contributing good to a world in great need of everyday people willing to help.