The joys of volunteering are many – especially the feeling of giving back and helping others in need. Nowadays, there are more ways to volunteer than ever before. Whether physical limitations, transportation issues or just the convenience factor make you consider wanting to volunteer from home rather than on site, opportunities are available.
What Types of Things Can You Do From Home?
- You could volunteer to help an organization with their mailings: stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes from home.
- If you have experience writing or editing, you could volunteer to write or edit for an organization’s website, newsletters or brochures.
- You could volunteer to foster a dog, cat or other animal in your home through a local shelter or rescue group.
- Using your computer, you could volunteer to help a nonprofit with their organization – i.e. data entry, organizing their database, updating their mailing list, organizing their records, etc.
- Many organizations hold bake sales, auctions or raffles to raise funds, which means you could bake or create crafts or works of art and donate them to a nonprofit.
- You can also offer your particular expertise to an organization, whether that’s helping with their website, taxes, accounting, marketing/PR, photo or video editing, graphic design, grant writing or fundraising. All of the above are things you can easily do from the comfort of your home.
The first step is finding the right organization. Volunteer opportunities abound in all types, from religious organizations to animal shelters and rescues, to education, youth and senior organizations, to food pantries and homeless shelters and many more. Start by looking up what nonprofits are in your area. Here are some tips:
- Visit AARP’s “Create the Good” web site and type in your zip code to find volunteering opportunities in your community.
- Ask friends and relatives for recommendations.
Create a list of organizations you’re interested in possibly volunteering for, then visit their websites or call them to learn more about them, what their needs are and what type of time commitment you’d have to make. Once you determine which groups you indeed want to volunteer with, follow up. Let them know that you need to volunteer from home and suggest the ways in which you can help. Some organizations may require in-person orientation or training, but if you explain any limitations you have, such as transportation, they may be willing to help.
The Right Match
If you contact an organization, and they don’t return your call or email, or don’t need the services you’re offering at this time, don’t give up. The right match is out there. Continue to contact organizations you’re interested in until you find the one that’s a good fit.
When you do find the right volunteer opportunity, you’ll know it by the great feeling of satisfaction you’ll get by giving back to the community and those in need.