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2020 presented all of us with unique challenges, including ways to maintain our charitable endeavors while also social distancing. However, humans are highly adaptable, and as the year went on, we found new and creative ways to help each other while still staying safe. 

Technology has provided us with a new outlet for socializing and communicating that would otherwise have been impossible. Web-based volunteering is an exciting way to feel productive and useful while also making others’ lives better. United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is a peace-seeking, global organization seeking people who have research, writing, art, and design skills. It’s also a great way to meet people with the same values as yourself. Over 12,000 volunteers from hundreds of countries are already involved.

Match Your Skills

Skills-based volunteer matching is an excellent use of online platforms. Catchafire makes the most use of willing volunteers by matching professionals who want to donate time with nonprofits who need their specific skills. The volunteer search tool also enables people to search for timelines that fit their lifestyle, as well as their skill sets. The Smithsonian has long made use of their online volunteer portal to get assistance with the thousands of documents that need to be converted to a digital format or edited.  

Use Your Resources

There are also ways to use your own equipment to make a difference. Amnesty International enlists the help of online volunteers to research potential human rights violations. Amnesty Decoders use their electronic devices to comb through thousands of photos and posts. Zooniverse is a platform that lets people choose what projects they want to participate in and then enables them to take part. Many cutting-edge projects have been advanced by volunteers throughout the sciences and humanities, among others.

Use Your Voice

There is a market for human volunteer translation support for people who are fluent in more than one language. Computer-aided translation cannot detect the same nuances as a human, which is why volunteers have provided over 10 million translated words a year to groups that focus on crisis support, health, and education.

If you want to make a more personal, emotional connection, you can volunteer on a crisis helpline. There is a great sense of satisfaction in knowing someone is safer and better off because of you.