Virtual Volunteering: Online Connection to Real-life Change

 

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, lend a helping hand and stimulate change in economy and society. Such a benevolent act not only lets you help others, but is also highly influential in gaining paid work through benefits like:

  • Building an impressive resume
  • Strengthening networking skills
  • References commending your hard work to others
  • Hands-on experience in the workforce

But sometimes things like family, school, work and friends can take up most of your time, leaving you with little opportunity to volunteer. With the addition of COVID-19 pandemic disrupting day-to-day life, these volunteering opportunities have been impacted and are becoming less and less available – or so one would think.

With the help of technology, volunteering has diversified into a digital form: virtual volunteering. As healthcare organizations continue to recommend staying at home during this pandemic, virtual volunteering allows you to still give back to your community while contributing to the betterment of the economy. 

There’s so many more benefits, but here are a few reasons why being a virtual volunteer is not only serves your community but you in general:

1. Gives you valuable experience, skills and connections

Virtual volunteering grants you the opportunity to gain work experience and skills to help you excel in the workforce. If you’re looking to try out a new career or have just finished school, virtual volunteering at industries you’re intrigued by can help you witness first-hand what it would be like to work there. As a virtual volunteer, you’ll see if the career suits your interests and skill set without the commitment of a full-time job. All the while you’ll be honing in on beneficial skills, as a survey done by Statistics Canada had shown that volunteers found themselves with stronger interpersonal, communication and organizational skills. These skills are built through meeting and working with new people, widening your network of connections while building your social skills.

2. Makes your resume stand out from the rest

Having virtual volunteering experience (especially in a relevant field) on your resume impresses hiring influencers, increasing your chances of being hired at their company. Such volunteer experience tells them that you have the required skills, motivation and willingness to help others without the incentive of money, further placing you in a favourable position. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016, 82% of hiring influencers tend to hire those with volunteering experience, as not having it on your resume could be a lost opportunity.

3. Can be done with only you and a screen

One of the greatest benefits of virtual volunteering is that it only involves you and a device (i.e. a computer, tablet, phone). Being a virtual volunteer requires no mandatory travel to the organization of choice – you can do all your work off-site. In other words, you can help out without the need to leave your home. With online applications like instant messaging, emails and video calling features, you can easily communicate with the supervisors at the organization without any geographical or physical limitations. Going into virtual volunteering means you’ll be able to work for not only your local community, but also across the country or world at the comfort of your own home.

4. More laxed time commitment

Volunteering without needing to commute to the organization leaves you with more autonomy over a flexible schedule. You have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to virtual volunteering: one-time, for a set period of time or as a recurring project. Being a virtual volunteer lets you work at your own pace, completing any tasks at a rate that seems more optimal for you and the organization you’re volunteering at. However, the surplus of free time compared to regular volunteer work doesn’t mean you’ll need to work more hours. In fact, studies have shown that investing two to three hours per week is enough to provide aid for both you and your chosen workplace. To avoid being overwhelmed, volunteer as much time as you can to stay comfortable and enjoy the rewarding experience.


From volunteering at food banks and pet shelters to helping businesses online, volunteering is constantly diversifying to help improve communities and boost economic growth. Virtual volunteering is needed now more than ever with the impact of the pandemic, so even a short-term project can provide great change to businesses and societal prosperity.

If you have free time and are looking for valuable volunteer work experience in the workforce, we at Math Project are offering co-op opportunities from June to August 2020! As an Education Analyst, our volunteers will become a part of our curriculum team, assisting with video lessons, worksheets, learning management systems and more. If interested, please apply by sending your resume, transcript and a cover letter to support@mathproject.ca!


Citations:
Virtual Volunteering – volunteer.ca
Be a Virtual Volunteer – alive.com
How Virtual Volunteering Works for Individuals and Nonprofits – thebalancesmb.com
The Professional Benefits of Volunteering – resumecoach.com
Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits – helpguide.org
Deloitte Impact Survey 2016 – deloitte.com