Every May, KellyMitchell dedicates time to giving back in the communities in which we live and work. Most years, more than half of our employees choose to support local food banks; and although limitations prevented us from helping in-person, we committed to finding a way to virtually make a difference! With that in mind, we partnered with Feeding America and were able to donate 23,000 meals to families across America. While we’re proud to support our communities in this way; it also got us thinking: what other opportunities are there to volunteer virtually? As it turns out – there’s a lot! We rounded up some fan favorites, take a peek below:
For those self-described scholars and bookworms, the Smithsonian has the ultimate opportunities for you. The first is the Smithsonian Transcription Center, whose goal is to make their collections more accessible. They are looking for help transcribing historical documents like diaries and working papers of prominent Americans. Previously transcribed documents include field notebooks surveying snakes and reptiles in South Dakota in 1894 to the diaries of Leo Baekeland, the American chemist and founder of the modern plastics industry. The other virtual volunteer opportunity with the Smithsonian is their Wikipedian Volunteer Program. The goal here is to improve the quality and quantity of reliable information on Wikipedia using the Smithsonian’s resources. While being a transcriber doesn’t often require previous knowledge, to work on their Wikipedia program it is suggested you have experience as an editor on the site and understand the norms of the Wikimedia community.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program works to connect people from around the world with digital volunteer opportunities globally. This means from your desk at home you could be with a non-profit organization across the globe to address sustainable development challenges. And whatever your skill set might be, from art and design to technology development to research, there are projects that likely align with your professional skills and goals as well. So if you are looking to develop your resume you can do that, while simultaneously giving back. Some current needs include UX/UI design for schools in Africa, manage social media for an organization in Latin America, and teach online English classes for children in India.
The Crisis Test is a free 24/7 text line for people in crisis throughout the United States. Crisis Counselors can work anywhere with a computer and secure internet connection, answering texts from people in crisis. Counselors help to bring calm to those whose texts they answer through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. While becoming a Crisis Text Counselors takes 30 hours of free training (which you can complete from the comfort of your home as well), you’ll walk away with transferrable skills like problem-solving, crisis management, and reflective listening.
Zooniverse enables anyone to contribute to cutting edge research in areas of science and humanities. Thus far the Zooniverse community of 2,099,467 registered volunteers has made 512,932,887 classifications. Current projects needing volunteers include counting penguins to understand population changes, searching data sets for gravitational waves, and helping the Boston Public Library transcribe anti-slavery correspondences from the 1800s.
Think of Catchafire as the matchmaker for professionals who want to donate their time and nonprofits who are in need of their skills. Catachafire’s volunteer projects are easy to sift through as they can be sorted by skills, cause area, or time commitment. Once you find a project you like, you submit an application and complete a brief interview, if both parties opt-in, it’s a match! Some of their remote opportunities include offering tech support for Black Girls Code, Android app prototyping for Simusolar, and human resources support for Mentor2Youth.