With just a few taps, it’s now possible to volunteer anytime, anywhere. (Add it to the list of the million and one other things you do from your phone.) 50% of adults say they want to volunteer, but don’t feel like they have the time to do so. Digital volunteering solves this problem with flexible opportunities you can access on your phone, at your convenience.
Giving back no longer requires a day at the soup kitchen, and digital volunteering enables significant impact in just 5 or 10 minutes. Tech nonprofits are leading this movement, as many of them rely on remote volunteers to digitally deliver their services. From answering a high schooler’s burning career questions to get pumped up before a meeting (our co-founder Shannon swears by it!), to simply baking the habit of “doing good” into your everyday, the advantages of digital volunteering run deep.
You Can Volunteer From Anywhere
Gone are the days when volunteering required a spot on your G-Cal. Now, you can digitally volunteer from the bus, the waiting room, your favorite lunch spot, you name it. One such opportunity for impact is volunteering as an Ambassador for Objective Zero. When a veteran or active duty military personnel needs mental health support, they’re connected with Ambassadors on the Objective Zero mobile app. Connections happen through messaging, a phone call, or video chat within the app, so this act of support can happen anywhere. Flexibility is one of the many benefits of volunteering from your phone.
A Little Time Makes an Impact
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not laziness, but lack of free time that prevents people from volunteering. We get it… you’re busy. But lucky for you, you can digitally volunteer whenever and make a difference in just a few minutes. Take Crisis Text Line, the 24/7 support line for people in crisis. You can serve as a counselor and text with individuals who are experiencing a crisis, to take them from “a hot moment to a cool calm.” Most of these texting conversations take place at night, so it’s a great opportunity for folks who are too busy to volunteer during the day.
“Volunteer for the Job You Want”
While this shouldn’t be a surprise, employers look favorably upon those who give back. In fact, 60% of hiring managers view volunteering as a value add when making recruiting decisions, and 82% said they’d be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience on their resume. Let’s go ahead and add professional development to our growing list of the benefits of volunteering digitally. Get that edge by digitally volunteering with CareerVillage, where you’ll give career advice to low-income high schoolers, who on average, only get 5 minutes a year with a guidance counselor. By connecting your LinkedIn, CareerVillage matches you with students asking questions that are relevant to your professional background.
Don’t Leave Pro-bono Volunteer Benefits on the Table
22% of U.S. companies offer time off for volunteering. If you work for one of these companies, you can maximize those hours with digital volunteering. For example, as a MindRight coach, you’ll provide remote mental health support for inner-city youth. MindRight coaches connect with young people over text, providing proactive mental health support on both good days and bad. This service is critical for helping teens develop healthy coping skills in the face of trauma, and de-stigmatizing talking about your emotions in general. SMS coaching isn’t time consuming, but becoming a MindRight coach does require training. Consider it a perfect opportunity to make good use of your VTO.
Perfect Existing Skills or Learn New Ones
73% of adults consider themselves lifelong learners, and there may be no better way to nurture a budding skill than through giving back. Skills-based volunteering is good for the brain, and can strengthen latent skills.
If you’re bilingual, volunteering as a translator for Tarjimly may be just what you need to sharpen your language skills. Tarjimly is a translation app that enables the world’s 3 Billion bilinguals to translate for the 25 Million refugees right on an app. One standout example occurred when a woman in Los Angeles facilitated translations between an NGO and the Turkish Coast Guard during a refugee rescue operation in the Mediterranean.
Or, if you’re a working professional, consider volunteering as a peer counselor for Empower Work, the chatline for workplace issues. Employees across the country use the service to get support with issues at work. As a peer counselor, you can help employees figure out their next steps. Volunteers improve their skills in active listening, management, and workplace dynamics.
Like many, you may be in the habit of scrolling through Insta on way to work. Consider channeling that energy and free time into digital volunteering by downloading one of the tech nonprofit apps. The benefits of volunteering digitally run deep, and we guarantee that you’ll feel so good about making meaningful use of your idle phone time.