By Guest Blogger: Patricia Sacawa, Communications Intern at q media solutions
Isabelle finished her graphic design program and went to work for a cause. “I’m looking for an opportunity to showcase my skills and build my portfolio,” she wrote on her Getinvolved! profile. Soon she was at work designing nonprofit logos. And she was building her resume too.
Joy wrote blog posts to support women from her home country. Daniel gave business advice through G-chat to nonprofits around the globe. Steve built a new website for his favourite charity. And Mike taught ESL by Skype.
VOLUNTEERING GONE VIRTUAL
Why is virtual volunteering so satisfying? And what is it, anyway?
DISCOVER VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING
Let’s start with what virtual volunteering is not. Right now, forget the image of the dorky, disheveled man typing memos with Doritos-stained fingers in a dimly lit room.
Virtual volunteers are regular people who want the freedom to choose their own volunteer assignments and do them when they want, where they want.
WHY VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING WORKS
When we dig deeper into virtual volunteering, we hit a goldmine. Virtual volunteering has real benefits.
1) FLEXIBILITY- Work when you want and where you want. We all lead busy lives today. Sometimes the only chance we have to volunteer is Sunday morning at Starbucks. That’s ok if you’re a virtual volunteer. You choose your own schedule.
Fact: Lack of time is the number one obstacle to volunteering.
2) BUILD YOUR RESUME- Get the experience needed to get a job. When we graduate from high school or university, we need evidence that we can get the job done. One way to get it is by volunteering.
3) GET TECH SAVVY- Virtual volunteers develop their tech skills and creativity—both key skills in the digital marketplace. Imagine walking into your next interview. Your potential boss asks you if you can conference call or share documents online and you say, “Yes, I can.” Your virtual volunteering experience has just added to your value as an employee.
Fact: A 2012 Forbes study found that 6 of the Top 10 Skills required by employers in in-demand occupations are related to technology and strategic thinking.
4) EXPAND YOUR NETWORK- Make new friends from your living room! Through numerous Skype calls, G-chats, forum discussions, and document exchanges, volunteers make friends with people worldwide. Forget antisocial: online volunteering is social with a modern twist.
Fact: A recent TakingITGlobal survey found that 72% of virtual volunteers felt “part of a larger, global community” and 63% “made new connections over the Internet.”
5) FIND A MENTOR- When you volunteer virtually, you’re often assigned a supervisor that can offer valuable advice. Pick their brains to learn new skills, gain insight, and build other relationships in your field.
IN A NUTSHELL
It’s not hard to see why virtual volunteering is popular with those who’ve tried it. It’s volunteering for busy, upwardly mobile, tech-savvy visionaries. It is as flexible and creative as you.
The best news for virtual volunteers is that possibilities are growing. You can find opportunities to virtually volunteer here on Getinvolved.ca in any field. Look for the red “V” in your search results and start your journey!
On the path to volunteer recruitment, it takes 5-7 touch points between the time a person to finds out about an opportunity to actually getting involved. Keeping your volunteers interested in getting involved can be a challenge. Using Getinvolved.ca’s Volunteer Quiz is a fun, interesting way for volunteers to learn a little bit about themselves.
Raising funds is one of the ways to get involved with your favourite charity or non-profit. And with many websites popping up designed to help you solicit donations from your friends and family, fundraising has never been easier — and more fun — than ever.
By Guest Blogger: Kelly Bergeron at Ontario 211
f you have yet to become a member of NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network), this post may convince you to run out and get yourself (and your organization) a membership. Thanks to them, I was lucky enough to win a full scholarship to attend the Connecting Up conference, a nonprofit tech, marketing and social media conference in Sydney, Australia.
Managing a community online — what exactly is it?
A picture is worth a thousand words, but in social media, not all images are created equal.
June 27th, 2011
Non-profit organizations are always hunting for new, innovative ways to share their stories and interact with their networks. Podcasts can serve as an effective brand-building tool for non-profits.
Since our re-launch on March 7th we’ve been outreaching to individuals and organizations to get their feedback on our improvements. We’ve completed our first survey and are thrilled with the feedback.
Having TVO as a partner brings new opportunities everyday. But on Sunday I had my first immersion in their most recent innovation – Agenda Camp .
You’ve got a voice, and we’ll give you a micro-phone. You know about the needs in your community, and we’ll give you an online forum. You’ve got ideas on how to improve our country, and we’ll give you an invitation to join our discussion. And you’ve got opinions about the upcoming election, and we’ll give you OUR EARS!
Interested in finding a Volunteer Centre in your area? Check out this list of centres across the country!