What can a virtual volunteer do?
Need inspiration to get started? Here are a few examples of what a virtual volunteer can do.
Administration and maintenance
- Designing a database: Designing a generic database format for a specific project or organisation.
- Database management: Making sure that information is correct and up-to-date.
- Proof reading: Making sure that all documents, content, publicity and newsletters are written in the correct format and use the correct grammar.
- Emailing and mail-outs: Making sure that all contacts have up-to-date information and updates about what is happening within the sector or organisation.
- Collating information and printing publications: Collating information or ideas for best practice guidelines, newsletter articles and minutes from meetings. Printing relevant information for the group, sector or organisation.
- Questions, queries and information: Providing information and answers for organisations or individuals wanting more information about a project, programme or organisation or how to get involved.
Campaigning, consultations and research
- Campaigning forum: Providing up-to-date information about ongoing campaigns, how to get involved and set weekly challenges/tasks for volunteers to complete. Allowing other campaigners to talk to like-minded individuals and organisations.
- Consultation: Being able to give feedback and comments about designs, content and layout for websites, newsletters, logos and branding.
- Questionnaires and surveys: Completing and designing questionnaires and surveys for organisations who would like to consult young people on various issues and documents.
- Consulting: Providing feedback and information for young people looking for advice, guidance and information about CVs, interviews and employment.
- Researching: Searching for relevant information, documents and contacts, then gathering statistics and analysing the information. Nik is a virtual volunteer for Changemakers and spends his time researching youth groups to contact to encourage more young people to volunteer virtually. Read his story here.
- Online research: find information to use in an agency's upcoming grant proposal or newsletter, gather information on a particular government programmer legislation that affects an agency's clients, gather website addresses of similarly-focused organisations, etc.
- Professional consulting expertise: Answering an agency's questions regarding human resource, accounting, management or legal issues; writing speeches, developing a strategic plan for a particular department, etc.
- General research: Daily or weekly search for news articles relating to an organisation or a particular topic.
- Fundraising campaigns: Developing ways to generate more funding for a project or campaign.
Media and publicity
- Designing and branding: Helping a newly-formed organisation or charity create a brand and a logo that will get noticed.
- Designing publicity materials: Making sure that all publicity material (flyers, posters, leaflets etc) complement each other and are eye-catching.
- Podcasts: Interviewing relevant people about a specific topic or issue and recording the interview. Then editing the interview and uploading the podcast onto a website. Read how 21 year-old Alex is involved as a virtual volunteer making podcasts and using other new media.
- Vodcasts: Interviewing relevant people about a specific topic or issue and filming the interview; then editing the interview and uploading the vodcast on to a website.
- Taking and submitting photos: Providing relevant photos that can be stored in the organisation's photo bank for publicity use.
- Blogging: A way to promote and advertise a project, programme or organisation. It is also a way to get people's opinions and views about different topics and issues as well as encouraging others to do the same.
- Videos: Producing a video about a project, programme or organisation for publicity and promotional purposes.
- Music production: Producing music for use in promotional materials for websites.
- Promotion: Promoting and publishing a project, programme or an organisation through known contacts and networks.
Websites and online communities
- Website designing: Designing a website for an organisation, forum or project.
- Maintaining a website: Updating information and produce and publish content on the website.
- Updating online search engines: Registering an agency's website (homepage) and other appropriate pages into directories and "What's New" items.
- Maintaining and updating online community pages: Making sure that the information and content is up-to-date and replying to any messages or comments.
- Moderation: Moderating an online forum, making sure that the conversation stays on the topic and is censored appropriately. Chloe volunteers as a virtual supporter for the self harm website RecoverYourLife.com - find out more about her role here.
- Developing an online forum: Creating web space for people to communicate with others and exchange information.
- Pen pals: Making and maintaining contact with someone living in a different area or country.
- Translation: Translating letters and documents into other languages.
- Book recording: Recording for visually impaired and the blind.
- Study support: Providing help, advice and study tips for students on different topics and subjects.
These are just some starting ideas to get you thinking - if you want to get started, search our database of virtual volunteering opportunities.
Article produced by the Choose Action Alliance.
Photo by Elvis Santana
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