The world has been struck with gloom since the unexpected and unwanted arrival and widespread of COVID-19 worldwide. Having taken its toll on humanity and forcing a global confinement, much efforts have been made by humanitarians all around the world to eradicate this menace.
Monetary donations, information broadcast and volunteering amongst others have been mediums in which humanitarians have used to contribute to the eradication of the pandemic.
Virtual volunteering has been a backup medium since movement restrictions have been ordered in some countries. As a virtual volunteer, you can make impacts contributing to nonprofits, social enterprises, and impact initiatives around the world that need your skills — without ever leaving home. Here are five tips on how to find and plan a successful virtual volunteering engagement below.
- Focus on a real, solvable problem. Start by understanding what the particular organization or workgroup actually needs support with, rather than pushing your own ideas or projects. The easiest way to do this is to find someone within an existing organization who is trying to accomplish a specific goal, but is facing barriers related to a lack of time, money, or skills. Then, use your time and skills to help them overcome those barriers to achieve their goal.
- Follow a human-centered approach to proposing solutions. This starts with understanding the objectives of the workgroup you are trying to serve, building empathy with them, focusing on a very specific problem, ideating ways to solve the problem, prototyping a solution, and then testing it to make sure it will work.
- Stay focused and committed even before you start. Is the goal to finish a project and say you finished something, or is there a goal to create a meaningful outcome for a specific workgroup? If you are not able to finish it yourself, is it possible for the existing team or another volunteer to pick up where you leave off? You need to be motivated.
- Agree to schedules and availability. Even just a short conversation up front about what technology to use, how you’ll use it, and what the preferences are for each stakeholder can save a lot of time and headaches down the road. Share calendars and be responsive. Make it easy to set up time with each other, even for just a quick check-in call, by using scheduling apps or software. By addressing ideal times and methods to communicate, you’ll make it easy to empower and support each other.
- Be creative!The world has never encountered anything like this before and so you should brainstorm innovative ideas and test them. Try a new work style, challenge yourself and your team to learn new skills, and embrace new technology – by being creative and fostering creativity, you will grow as a person and help instill more resiliency in your team and project.
- Source for plat forms. Having developed the right mindset and character to aid volunteering the next step is to search to begin your adventure. The United Nations has a platform where you can find organisations that need your services.