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Give Something Back: Online Volunteer Opportunities

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1108380_hand_in_handWeb work doesn’t necessarily involve earning an income. Through the Internet, we can give back to the global community and do a different kind of online work — volunteering. Here are some ways to use a little of your time to help others.

Look for organizations that you can work with online. Many non-profit organizations have some volunteers working only through the Internet. The United Nations has a database of online opportunities for which you can apply. NABUUR is another online volunteering platform that connects local communities with online volunteers. For both sites, you can choose from a variety of tasks, including research, translation, writing, design and much more.

Just remember that if you’re going to work with an organization on a specific project, such as redesigning its web site or setting up an online marketing campaign, treat them as you would your regular clients. Have a contract ready, make a list of deliverables, and define the project scope so that everything is clear to both parties. Also, be aware of the disadvantages that can come with working on projects for free.

Offer your help to non-profit web sites. If you have an erratic schedule and can’t make specific time commitments to an organization, you can turn to web sites that are looking for volunteers. If you’re a programmer, you can help fix bugs on an open-source application. For book lovers, proofreading for Project Gutenberg and reading for Librivox are good options.

If you prefer to work independently, you can use message boards and social networks to answer tech questions for free, or even upload tutorial videos to share your expertise.

Use social media to promote causes you care about. Most web workers are usually very active on social media sites and have blogs. You can easily use these tools to direct your contacts to the causes and issues you care about. Through this you can help raise awareness, find new donors, or encourage other people to volunteer.

Participate in online movements. There are several cause-oriented online activities that you can participate in, such as Blog Action Day , Stand Up or Train for Humanity.

If you’re interested in doing volunteer web work, here are some additional resources that can help:

Cause-oriented web work can be very fulfilling, both emotionally and professionally. Go on, get involved!

Have you ever considered online volunteering? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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5 Responses to “Give Something Back: Online Volunteer Opportunities”

  1. Online volunteering is ideal for people who are looking for opportunities to build employment competencies (skills, knowledge and attitudes). Experience from online volunteer opportunities can be added to resumes in order to increase employment prospects.

    Online volunteering also promotes social inclusion among isolated individuals.

    We are always in need of online volunteer opportunities for learning participants involved in our online employment program. The opportunities we have developed to date have been excellent!

    Here’s to the future of online volunteering!
    Our candidates currently involved in the following activities:

    writing articles
    creating test questions
    typing transcripts

  2. Hey everyone – great post, and I really like that Web Workers are chatting about how to get involved with your highly in-demand skills. One thought: Studies show that partnering with nonprofits that are already engaged in actions toward a specific mission is the best way to leverage your expertise AND their resources… check out and try either keyword searches for your skill areas or else our Virtual Volunteering tag cloud on our home page. Good luck!