Written by Michael Gorman, a highly skilled freelance writer and proofreader from the UK who currently works at Best Essay Tips. He loves writing about soft skills, volunteering, and traveling. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.
Students are some of the best online volunteers and many opportunities are designed specifically with them in mind. By participating in online volunteering work, they not only experience the fulfillment that comes from assisting others but are able to enhance their own career prospects at the same time. The fact that the work is online makes it possible to overcome some of the limitations the students experience when wanting to volunteer.
Why students should volunteer online
Volunteering online means that students have to network with people within an organization. Networking with others, such as a volunteer supervisor, could provide a professional reference and be an excellent contact for future jobs. Other reasons to volunteer include the following:
- College graduates often have limited professional experience and adding volunteering to a resume shows dedication to building skills.
- Future employers are impressed when they see students are able to manage their time efficiently and handle a variety of responsibilities.
- Volunteering online demonstrates good communication skills as much work may be done through emails and video calls.
- Volunteering in a specific field of interest offers the opportunity to test the waters and find out whether a career in the field would be worth pursuing.
- Making time for the less fortunate and giving back to the community can give a sense of accomplishment and help to foster self-esteem.
- Volunteering can often reduce the risks of developing mental health issues such as depression and decrease stress levels.
- Volunteering gives the opportunity to develop friendships with like-minded people and foster a lifelong awareness of community and the challenges facing others.
- Some college courses provide participation incentives to students who volunteer.
Factors to consider when choosing a volunteering opportunity
Students need to look at several factors when considering volunteering online, especially if they want it to count in preparing them for a future career.
- If a position aligns with a major, it ensures that the student gains the right skills while helping others.
- Students should find out whether a program has been approved by a school and provides credits. They should ask an academic supervisor or professor about such opportunities.
- The position should present a learning opportunity and a chance to learn new skills.
- A volunteering position that combines personal values, convictions, and interests as well as talents and skills relevant to a certain sector will be a good fit.
- There are many opportunities to serve beyond feeding homeless people or reading to the elderly. Online volunteering means more opportunities are available than ever before and researching volunteering options on online platforms is a must.
Types of nonprofits
Volunteering online provides a great opportunity for students who may not have a vehicle or time to travel to a specific location. It means they do not even have to be in the same country as the organization for which they want to volunteer.
Many platforms with varied opportunities
So many online platforms are available to assist students to find the right volunteering opportunities. There are charities for women, human rights, animals, children, education, museums, hospitals, arts and culture and many others in need of valuable volunteers and employees. Some of the online volunteer jobs include research, social media marketing, web design, content marketing and the creation of promotional videos.
GivingWay, the innovative startup aligning volunteers and non-profits stands out in this regard. It helps non-profits find out the best match for their campaigns while volunteers apply online for various opportunities as per their interests. Its filters based on regions, online or while traveling abroad and the cause (people, eco, animals) help volunteers create a robust application that helps them connect with the non-profit that matches the criteria.
Some global opportunities
The African continent is full of organizations that offer opportunities for online volunteering, such as charities in Kenya committed to addressing poverty among disadvantaged households in slums and rural villages. Students can work for organizations in Uganda that are equipping and educating children about issues like public health, the environment, waste management and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Countless non-profits and social initiatives operate across South America and online volunteering opportunities include working for those focused on improving the quality of life in needy communities or others committed to scientific research as a basis for biodiversity conservation of the Amazon.
Making a transition from volunteer to employee
When students gain volunteer experience, it often leads to a desire to pursue a long-term career in the field. Just like traditional companies, nonprofits also need administrators, customer service agents, team leaders, project managers and directors. Some popular jobs in nonprofits include writing grant proposals, fundraising and marketing.
The dynamic of the workplace at a nonprofit will be different from a traditional job as the focus is on accomplishing a mission rather than on profits. The main reason people want to work for nonprofits is to feel they are making a difference and helping to change and save lives rather than for any monetary gain. That being said, many nonprofits offer great career prospects and offer good salaries to their employees.
The best way to achieve visibility and increase the chances of becoming an employee is to spend time volunteering. This gives students the chance to show that they can be valuable assets, especially if they take initiative, show that they can work in a team and are passionate about their work.
Starting a career at a nonprofit will involve showcasing relevant skills and experience, applying and interviewing, just like with any other job. The more education and experience the applicant has, the better the chances of being hired and receiving competitive pay. Any special experience, such as volunteering, could help determine whether the applicant gets the job or not.
The bottom line
Students can experience many benefits from volunteering online. Digital volunteering has widened the scope of opportunities available and made volunteering possible for students with all kinds of schedules and limitations. It offers them the opportunity to pick up skills and experience in areas they are passionate about and form a network of valuable contacts.
Head to our blog for more stories, tips, and volunteering inspiration! You can also check out our GivingWay – Volunteers, Donors & NGOs connect Facebook group to connect with other volunteers and nonprofits! 😁
The material and information contained on the GivingWay blog is for general information purposes only. GivingWay will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in the GivingWay blog.