Why should an organisation engage online volunteers? We believe every non-profit organisation can benefit from the right volunteer. Volunteers bring in new insights, ideas and energy into the work. In fact:
Volunteers don’t just do the work, they make it work –Carol Pettit
There are tasks that specifically need the volunteer to be present at your organisation physically; but a lot of tasks such as design, report writing, translations, social media and even coaching can be performed virtually. Recent trends show an increase towards volunteering from home/ office. For a volunteer it is great as online volunteering gives him/her the flexibility of time and place. While browsing through online volunteering opportunities at the UN Volunteers website; we found many resources on how organisations can best engage online volunteers. Reproducing here the article on why should organisations involve online volunteers.
Read the original resource article here.
By sharing their skills, knowledge and ideas directly with your organization, online volunteers…
Enhance your organization’s resources
Online volunteers provide your organization with additional skills and expertise that may not be available locally. Coming from various backgrounds and cultures, they bring new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Six online volunteers supported the Youth for Technology Foundation in establishing the Sironko Digital Village, a community technology and learning center in Uganda. They developed strategies for training courses and income generation. They created a webpage, developed marketing material, researched potential donors, managed a contacts database of supporters and conducted outreach campaigns. Finally, they made recommendations on networking equipment, Internet connection and providers, online facilities and electricity supply.
Develop your organization’s capacities
Online volunteers can increase your organization’s institutional capacities by training staff, teaching new skills or providing guidance and advice.
Online volunteers have advised a youth focused NGO in Tanzania, the Tanzania Media and Youth Development Association, on lobbying and networking, and coached members of the NGO on how to negotiate with decision makers in government, community, and the private sector. They now confidently engage with and receive strong support from leaders at all levels, the organization’s recommendations have been relayed to Parliament, and it successfully engaged in the coordination of a National Youth Employment Summit Campaign.
Extend your organization’s networks
Online volunteers learn about your organization and the people it serves, and in turn share this information with their friends and colleagues – mobilizing additional support.
The organization Teach a Man to Fish works towards transforming agricultural education in developing countries. After discussing the details of an assignment for designing an online game that would help partners understand the organization’s educational model, an online volunteer realized that the project needed additional support. Through his private and professional networks, he put together a team of five engineers and artists and coordinated the team’s activities to help the organization develop the game.