If onsite volunteering is particularly difficult for you because of a disability, home obligation, transport difficulties or work schedule, you could consider volunteering online. If you have a computer, an Internet connection and the right skills, this might be the option for you.
Your tasks as an online volunteer will depend on your skills and expertise. You can design flyers, maintain a web site, translate text, edit video, design a database, manage online social networking activities or write code for software. You can also simply give expert advice (for example, in law or education), answer emails for an organisation or conduct research.
Where to look?
- Cyber Volunteers: opportunities for volunteers with information and communication skills
- UN Volunteers Online: the United Nations has one of the most developed online volunteering programs
- Help from home: volunteering activities that can be done from home, both online and without a computer
- Random Hacks of Kindness: online volunteering for software developers and designers
- EU Aid Volunteers: this European initiative offers volunteering opportunities online and all over the world
Bear in mind that online volunteering is real volunteering and requires real time and real commitment and involves real deadlines. Although it’s very easy to say yes to volunteering over the Internet, be sure that you really have the spare time necessary to complete the assignments you commit to.
Online volunteering is not meant to replace face-to-face volunteering, so you can still do both if you have the time.