Volunteering was once related to willingly serving others and rendering services that involves our physical involvement. From decorating houses, signing up in distinct school functions, to serving meals in cafeteria, usually volunteering involves going somewhere.
However, over the years just like everything else even this concept has undergone through immense evolution. Presently, volunteering has become a more respected and valuable position, which is being termed as ‘Virtual Volunteer.’ It is related to donating your virtual skills and time without being physically present in the real world.
This is possible through internet, and hence, is also known as online volunteering. Hence, it can be a really exciting position to render your valuable skills and time to bring long-lasting transformations in your lives. So, if you have become a lot excited about this concept and want to know how you can become a successful virtual volunteer, then read this post to know everything about this!
Definition of Virtual Volunteering:
Virtual volunteering is the process of rendering your skills using the Internet, remaining off-site from the physical location of the business, organization, or project. It is also known as online volunteering, e-volunteering, digital volunteering, cyber volunteering and remote volunteering.
A virtual volunteer uses the internet via his or her preferred device like laptop, desktop, phone or tablet to offer the skills necessary to support a cause, which is important for the organization as well as to them.
Large number of people find it a much more comfortable and convenient way to work and serve causes that are close and far. The services of the volunteer can be in numerous forms, such as:
- Data Entry
- Outreach and fund raising through phone calls
- Website Support
- Website Design
- App Development
- Social Media Management
- Blogging or Copywriting
- Graphic Designing
- Branding or Marketing Assistance
- Video Creation
- Volunteer Tracking
- Virtual Staff Support and more
These are just a list of services that can be offered as virtual volunteering. Every organization has a distinct approach, hence there are unique methods for volunteers that they can adopt in order to support the role. While there were times when only physical volunteers were in demand, but now things have altered. With easy availability of internet, there has been a massive shift towards high demand of positions for virtual volunteer.
Why is the Demand for Virtual Volunteer increasing?
The fact is true that the world is rapidly becoming a digital culture. With internet, it has now become possible to do more things in less time. Even it has helped extreme expansion to our skills, which are no longer limited to the geographical boundaries.
Use of technology has given birth to new opportunities and new skills. Because of this, volunteering is no more limited to just physical attendance and labor. Every organization requires websites and at the same time need services to maintain as well as boost it. These organizations require timely and regular assistance in their site as well as other important features related to it.
Besides this, the non-profit organizations require more support than ever to support their regular operations and to broaden its horizons. With virtual volunteering it is possible for non-profit entities to grow and expand their impact.
Even the virtual volunteer finds it easy to maintain a proper work-life balance with this option. They don’t have to experience challenges like commuting, family time, combating chaos of daily life, and at the same time quench their work zeal. Hence, for all such reasons virtual volunteering has become a popular choice for professionals, which is gaining recognition day by day.
How to Become a Virtual Volunteer?
The demand for virtual volunteer is high mainly among non-profit organizations. Finding a suitable virtual volunteer position is possible only when you know the precise position to look for it. However, before beginning with the search process, it is important to follow these steps.
1. Figure out the Cause of Support:
It is essential to know what is the cause or field of program you intend to support.
You might render your services for an animal cause, to support the website of an organization, for rendering education to poor children etc. According to your interests and preferences you may broaden or narrow down your search process.
2. Identify the Type of Service You Want to Offer:
The next thing you need to know is to figure out the type of virtual service you want to render. You may select one or more services as per your skills and efficiency.
For example, you can serve social media management as well as copy writing, or you can serve copywriting as well as recruiting. So, based on your skills, you need to identify the types of services you wish to offer.
3. Employ Established Websites and Databases:
The next step is to search for reliable websites that offer such potential openings. For this, you may use established databases and websites available online. Just make sure you end up your search with a reliable and renowned website offering such positions, as there is always a possibility to meet frauds under this position.
4. Check with the organization for which you want to work:
If there is any specific organization with which you want to work, then you may check the website of the organization to identify any volunteer opening. The website of the organization must have a list of volunteer positions specific to their program or organization.
5. Check with the Organization’s Functions:
Before you check and agree to the volunteer position of the organization, just make sure that the company does the type of work you are willing to support. It is important to ensure that, what they do is supportive to others and fits your skills and interests.
6. Check for Things Before Signing Up:
Before you begin with the online volunteering program for any organization, it is essential that you check various things beforehand. It is because online volunteering is absolutely different from real-life volunteering. It involves distinct dynamics, and hence investigates for all the aspects in detail.
7. Research About the Organization Thoroughly:
Once you have shortlisted one or more organization to render your service, the next step is to begin researching with the reputation of the organization.
Search for the company’s website, social media, upcoming programs, and volunteer openings. All this will help you have a detailed idea about what the company exactly does and how working with them will be beneficial for your career.
8. Avoid Collaborating with Unstable and Fraudulent Organizations:
Large numbers of organizations out there are unstable and some of them might be even involved in fraudulent activities. For this reason, it becomes important to get reviews and feedback about the organization with which you are interested to work. If you find any fraudulent information about the company then you must avoid working with it.
9. Comprehend Well the Way Your Working Hours and Work will be Tracked:
An important thing that every organization follows with virtual volunteers is record keeping. This is imperative to track the hours and identify the work, that the hired volunteer is doing.
For this, some companies either track the number of hours with software, or use spreadsheets, or email, and similar solutions. But if any organization asks you to pay a certain sum before starting the work then you must avoid them at any cost. These must be scams that, in most of the cases will ask for your services, but will never offer you sums and stipends in return.
10. Check for Experience or Training Needed:
Some companies may require high levels of positions for virtual volunteering while there are others that may require entry-level experts. Therefore, you must be clear about the degree of training and experience required, that can help whittle down the process of selection. Such practices also require absolute commitment, and if you are able to offer it, then only you may get into this field.
11. Discuss All Your Expectations and Needs to the Fullest:
Since, this is a remote communication job, so it can be hard to discuss stuff. But it is always wise if you discuss everything beforehand via mail or through a verbal communication. But the written communication is always a better option.
You can discuss about the hours of work needed, the type of responsibility that you would require, how to contact people when you require help, important dates and deadlines to be met.
So, these are the various important steps that you need to follow in order to become a virtual volunteer. If you are able to grab a lucrative job opportunity then this will not just be a great experience but will also be a beneficial addition to your career.
Benefits of Becoming a Virtual Volunteer:
There are numerous benefits of becoming a virtual volunteer, for the company as well as the employee. The biggest benefit of this job position is that it has opened up a wide array of possibilities to the world.
Benefits of Virtual Volunteer to Volunteers:
Some of the major benefits of virtual volunteering for the volunteer are as follows:
- It offers volunteers with more opportunities to work with multiple causes and numerous organizations at one point of time.
- The process of virtual volunteering allows volunteers with great ease. This profession combats various challenges related to the real-time jobs and professions. As a result, volunteers are available with more time to render their services as well as to offer their skills to distinct companies.
- Another excellent benefit of virtual volunteering for volunteers is high flexibility in location, level of engagement to a job, and scheduling the work as per own convenience and preference.
- Virtual volunteering offers as an exclusive platform for passions and skills that are not met by real-time or physical volunteering. It is because there is no constraint or limitation in selecting the skill you want to render and the type of work you wish to do.
- This profession offers more lucrative opportunities to remote and disabled volunteers. Hence, if you are a talented person with high skills set but not able to move to physical locations for your work, then this is an awesome career option for you.
- If there are various educational and career milestones that you are not able to fulfill because of your responsibilities at home, then this is an excellent choice to go with. If you are a student then you can do your studies and plan rendering your skills to various organizations at the same time, in exchange for decent salary. This is a similar choice for all those who want to meet their responsibilities to the fullest as well as achieve their professional milestones.
Benefits of Virtual Volunteering to the Organization or Employer:
- The very first advantage of virtual volunteering to the organizations is that they can avail more skills and get more tasks done in less time with the help of their virtual volunteer. This saves a lot of time and money to the virtual volunteer.
- With the option of virtual volunteer, it is possible for the organizations to get access to more skilled volunteers in less time and by spending less money. Sometimes the remote employees are even able to perform better than those hired on the full-time basis.
- If organizations want to save money on the operating cost, then this is an excellent profile for them. It will allow organizations to carry on with their tasks while saving large sums of money.
- It delivers companies with a high professional level of communications, outreach, and branding.
- Companies can get their websites, emails, and social media accounts update in an easy and optimum manner with the help of virtual volunteer.
Volunteering is a profession that has been practiced greatly since long time. With virtual volunteering, it is possible for you to render your distinct passions and skills to various reputed organizations all across the world. Hence, if you want a reputed profession that allows you with immense flexibility and perfect balance between work and life then virtual volunteering is the best.