5 Ways to Volunteer Online

3 minute read

Volunteering can be both hugely fulfilling in itself and a way to gain skills that’ll help you progress your career. But what if you’re struggling to fit it around your schedule, or you can’t travel easily? That’s where volunteering online comes in. Here are five ways to get involved from home.


1. Teaching

Teaching others is a great way to learn yourself. Working with children and young people is brilliant experience and gives you the chance to develop transferrable skills. This includes soft skills like planning, communication, active listening, constructive feedback and empathy. And you can get this experience by volunteering online.

For example, Bookmark is an online volunteer reading programme. It involves spending two 30-minute sessions a week reading stories and playing games with a child aged 5–10. And The Access Project promotes social mobility by matching students to volunteers for an hour of free online tutoring per week.

2. Mentoring

Being a mentor has plenty of benefits, not just for the mentee but also for the mentor themselves. Mentorship schemes are often undersubscribed for mentors, as many volunteers don’t think they’re senior enough. But all you need is a couple of years’ experience in your field and a willingness to impart your knowledge.

Services like Brightside and One Million Mentors are run online, pairing you with young mentees for regular virtual check-ins.

If you’re looking to move into a role with greater responsibility, becoming a mentor can help you develop leadership and coaching skills. Sharing your knowledge and experience with others, and seeing them succeed, can increase your confidence. Meeting new people and hearing things from different perspectives is also valuable.


3. Supporting service users

Volunteering in a support role will give you experience of interacting directly with service users. It’s enormously rewarding and a chance to develop the people skills that are essential in charity work.

There are lots of ways to do this online. For example, Sense’s Virtual Buddying matches volunteers with disabled people to meet online for an hour a week. It’s a way for you both to make friends, build confidence and learn new skills.

As a volunteer for Be My Eyes, you can help blind and low-vision individuals with their daily tasks via video calls. Users can ask for help with tasks ranging from explaining the colour of a shirt to navigating unfamiliar surroundings.

Age UK’s Silver Line Helpline is a free telephone service for older people. As a volunteer, you offer a friendly voice at the end of the line, whether through a quick, friendly chat about their day or a much-needed heart-to-heart.

Similarly, Alzheimer’s Society Companion Calls are specifically designed for people affected by dementia, providing a warm and supportive channel for conversation. Calls are typically scheduled weekly.

4. Marketing and communications

Small charities in particular rely on volunteers for their day-to-day activities—and today they’re needed more than ever.

If you browse online volunteering roles, you’ll find that many of the positions available are in marketing, communications and digital. For example, a charity might be looking for someone to help out with social media marketing for a few hours a week. Or they may need support with bid-writing, or content writing more generally.

This type of volunteering is useful if you’re looking to sharpen your written communication skills. And it’s a good way to build your portfolio so that you can provide examples of your published work at application stage.


5. Becoming a trustee

A trustee is a volunteer who serves on the governing body of a charity, responsible for its strategic direction. Trustees ensure the charity is reaching its goals, planning ahead and running as efficiently as possible. It’s a vital and stimulating role, putting you at the heart of the organisation and its work.

It won’t make huge demands on your time: most trustee boards meet monthly or even quarterly. And some trustee roles are fully remote—browse vacancies to see what’s currently available.

You don’t need special skills or qualifications to be a trustee. It’s a great way to gain management and leadership experience. Plus, working closely with other trustees can help you develop your teamwork and conflict resolution skills.


Keen to get started? Browse remote and online volunteering roles today.

Tomas René

Tomas is Senior Content Manager (maternity cover) at CharityJob.

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