When we think about “volunteering,” we typically imagine people gathering together - in person - to get something done: serving meals, planting trees, tutoring kids. However, there is a whole world of volunteer service that can be done from home. All you need is a computer or mobile phone and Internet access!
Why volunteer online? There are several benefits to this type of engagement. First, you have way more control over how, when, and where you serve. You can contribute your time and talents from home, from a coffee shop, at a library – anywhere you can go online. This is great for people who are juggling lots of responsibilities; you might not be available to participate between 9-5 but maybe you're a night owl with an hour to spare in the evening. Online volunteering is also an especially accessible type of service for folks who might be experiencing barriers to service due to limited physical mobility. Volunteering online also opens up opportunities to work with organizations that aren't located in your own community, an important option for people living in rural areas and smaller towns. Want to partner with an organization located across the country or around the globe? Unless you've got loads of frequent flier miles just waiting to be burned, online is the way to go.
Here are just a few of the ways you can engage in online volunteering:
- Write, edit, and/or review new content for organizations to use on their website, in marketing materials and newsletters, and on social media
- Create a new website, app, or social media presence for an organization
- Design graphics and images for organizational branding and outreach
- Take photos and craft videos to tell the story of an organization's successes
- Review existing documents, from strategic plans to marketing strategies
- Translate materials to another language
- Advocate for causes by sharing, liking, and amplifying their social media posts
- Participate in fundraising by thanking existing donors and seeking new donors to contribute
- Want more examples? Check out this comprehensive list!
Ready to get started? Consider using one of our quizzes or activities to identify how you might most want to participate; you can also learn about a few key feminist issues on which to take action here. Then, start your research. Use websites like Idealist.org, VolunteerMatch, Taproot, and Catchafire to find existing online volunteer opportunities with organizations around the world. Can't find something you like? Consider creating a role of your own! New to volunteering? Check out Idealistvolunteering.org for tips and tricks for how to find the right role for you.
One last note: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people who identify as women - especially women of color, LGBTQIA folks, immigrants, religious minorities, and people with disabilities - to experience trolls and harassment online. As you consider how you'd like to take action on the Internet, here are a few resources to help you stay safe:
- "A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity" by Noah Kelley (HACK*BLOSSOM)
- Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment - Feminist Frequency
- Zen and the Art of Making Tech Work for You - Gender and Tech Resources