The Ultimate Virtual Volunteering Guide

A Black woman with braided hair wearing a turquoise shirt with 'VOLUNTEER' printed on the back. She is standing in front of a group of children in blue plaid uniforms.

With the pandemic altering how we operate, volunteering pivoted, providing remote volunteer opportunities in this new landscape. That means your impact now transcends geographical constraints and can be felt from anywhere with internet access. Your virtual act of kindness is not only convenient but allows you to engage in diverse projects that span the entire globe, enhances your resume, grows your network, and builds your skills. 

So, are you ready to make a difference remotely? 

 Where can you find these virtual volunteering opportunities in Canada?

  • CanadaHelps:

    CanadaHelps facilitates virtual volunteering by acting as a connector between donors and volunteers with charitable organizations. You can find roles pertaining to graphic design, content creation and administrative support. Through CanadaHelps’ online platform, you can contribute your skills to support charitable organizations. 

  • Charity Village:

    As a virtual volunteer you can find a range of options such as courses, webinars, newsletters, tools, resources, job postings, events and articles to start creating the impact you want as soon as possible. You can find the latest information on the nonprofit sector on Charity Village

  • VolunteerMatch:

    If you’re looking to match with a local non-profit organization, VolunteerMatch can be a suitable option. It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in the environment, education, health or animal welfare, this platform will support your recruitment, training, and management. 

  • United Way Canada:

    This prominent organization in Canada creates volunteering opportunities so that communities can experience positive change. You can volunteer in areas such as mentorship, fundraising, and advocacy.

  • CUSO International:

    For volunteering opportunities directed towards poverty and inequality in developing countries, CUSO International can help you choose from a range of virtual opportunities, from short-term placements to long-term assignments. The hours are flexible — between two to seven hours per week.


What roles are they looking for?

A person working on a laptop at a desk with various plants and office supplies. They are using a stylus pen and a graphics tablet, and the laptop screen displays photo editing software with images.
Photo by George Milton from Pexels

Virtual volunteering roles are no different than traditional in-person volunteering. They usually fall under the following categories and can differ in some way depending on a particular organization. 

  • Online Fundraising: Virtual volunteers can help create and manage online fundraising campaigns. From fundraising outreach to virtual events and peer-to-peer fundraising. 


  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Management: Many organizations need help with maintaining an online presence and require someone to take control of their content creation, social media management and digital marketing. 


  • Research and Data Analysis: As volunteers, you can step in and support an organization’s mission by helping in the collection of data, analysis, and research projects. 


  • Transcription and Translation: As someone with language skills, you can volunteer to help an organization with transcribing audio or video content or translating materials into multiple languages.


What skills do you need to be a virtual volunteer ?

A person writing in a notebook while sitting at a desk with an open laptop and a cup of coffee. The laptop screen shows images, and there are stacks of books on the desk.
Photo by George Milton from Pexels

As a volunteer, your skills will be what help you create the impact you desire. And while each role and organization has its own specific requirements, its prudent to have the following skills in your toolkit at all times when volunteering:

  • Communication and Language Skills: In a virtual setting, miscommunication can occur at any time, especially with deadlines involved. It is crucial for a volunteer to have the right communications skills to collaborate remotely with teams and stakeholders. Being fluent in various languages can work to your advantage as a virtual volunteer when the role involves transcription or translation. 


  • Technical Proficiency: A virtual volunteer cannot do without basic computer skills, being proficient with softwares, social media tools, project management tools and graphic design platforms. 


  • Digital Literacy: Having a digital presence is a necessity and possibility for every non profit organization. But they struggle with keeping it consistent, on-brand and relevant. They need volunteers who are digitally literate and can help them navigate the waters of online platforms, websites and digital tools. 


  • Creativity and Problem-Solving: If you’re supporting a nonprofit organization by boosting their visibility, increasing donations or their impact, you need creativity and problem-solving to ride shotgun with you on this journey. 


  • Research and Analytical Skills: These skills are your go-to if you want your volunteer experience to include data analysis, market research, and content research.

What are the Benefits of Remote Volunteering? 

Amongst various other opportunities, the following are some of the benefits that volunteering virtually can bring to your overall experience: 

  • Geographical Reach: When you volunteer online, you aren’t limited to your city or even your home country. Let your impact reach far and wide as you venture into volunteer opportunities on the other side of the globe. 


  • Flexibility: With people juggling multiple things on the go, it can be hard to find time to give back to the community. But in a virtual setting, volunteering becomes flexible and accessible if you have a busy schedule or various commitments. 


  • Diverse Opportunities: If you’re a volunteer who aims high and wants to be involved in a hundred different things, virtual volunteering can prove to be quite rewarding. From writing to graphic design to mentoring, you can dabble in diverse opportunities that suit your taste and ambition. 


  • Social Impact: Let’s not forget the main reason why you’re here— to create impact. The favorable circumstances that the internet has created allows you to support missions and contribute to the greater good. 


  • Skill Development: While contributing to an organization’s mission virtually, you’ll be able to enhance your skills in a real-world context. This valuable learning experience will feed into other aspects of your professional career as well.


  • Networking and Personal Growth: Virtual volunteering provides the opportunity to interact with professionals and like-minded individuals. When you’re amongst a group of people with whom you share values and interests, it makes way for deeper connections and personal growth.

So what’s it like to Volunteer Virtually?

Back view of male employee speaking on video call with diverse colleagues on online briefing with laptop at home.

Some points of commonality between most virtual volunteering experiences:

  • Independence and Autonomy: As a virtual volunteer you will have more control on your time and the independence to manage your tasks and schedule autonomously. It can feel empowering to take ownership of your time and create the impact you desire. 


  • Personal Connection: Even though you might be miles away from the nonprofit organization you volunteer for, you might end up feeling a deeper connection with their mission, team and beneficiaries. 


  • Challenging: While you might be connected to the mission and work of the nonprofit, managing communication with them at times can be challenging too. Through the distance it can oftentimes feel difficult to stay motivated by yourself. Communication is key here to ensure you remain connected to the organization. 


  • Feedback and Recognition: Working remotely can make it seem even more important for the organization to share feedback and recognize the hard work of their volunteers. The skills you develop during this time will be acknowledged and foster a sense of belonging in you. 


The volunteering landscape in Canada has taken a virtual turn, making it easier for individuals to give to the community from anywhere. With organizations like Canada Helps, Charity Village, CUSO International, Volunteer Match, and United Way Canada, you can start creating the impact you want. Be it that you have a flair for digital marketing, or the ability to transcribe and translate, there’s a place for you at the virtual volunteering table. If you’re eager to give back and make a difference, you can start right away with the skills you have and see the ripple effect your abilities have on serving the community-good.