Online volunteering with the United Nations

Surprised that you can volunteer online? Well, you can! I’ve been doing this for a number of years now, and thought I would share the information with you, because I don’t think that many people are aware that they can help out from their desktop.

Why volunteer online?

“Volunteering online is an opportunity to support the cause of sustainable human development working from a computer anywhere in the world. Volunteers do not need to travel and have a great degree of flexibility in volunteering the hours that fit their schedule.”

How does it work?

  1. Organizations that comply with the eligibility criteria submit their online volunteering opportunities.
  2. UNV publishes them if they are in line with the opportunity criteria.
  3. You search for opportunities that match your profile and interests, and submit your application to the organization that posted the opportunity through the website.
  4. The organization selects the volunteers with whom they would like to collaborate.
  5. If your application is successful, you collaborate with the organization over the Internet.
  6. You submit feedback upon completion of the assignment.
  7. The organization issues you a certificate of appreciation.

Tip: You can set up your profile so that you receive email alerts when there’s an opportunity that fits your skills.

What can I do?

Writing, editing and translating
Volunteers draft newsletters and articles, translate presentations, reports & websites, summarize survey results, proofread, develop website content, etc.
Volunteers assess projects, provide advice on communication strategies and legal issues, evaluate software solutions, etc.
Project development and management
Volunteers write project proposals, share expertise, develop fundraising strategies, draft grant applications, etc.
Volunteers design logos, create the layout of publications, develop a corporate identity, illustrate training material, etc.
Coordination and facilitation
Volunteers manage teams of other online volunteers, coordinate campaigns, moderate online discussions, act as board members, etc.
IT development
Volunteers develop and maintain websites, design data- bases, set up blogs, do Search Engine Optimization (SEO), write Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), create flash animations, etc.
Volunteers research information on development topics, funding sources, potential partners, best practices, etc.
Training and coaching
Volunteers develop training material, teach online courses, provide guidance to organizations and/or their beneficiaries, etc.

As you can see, the first two categories should fit readers of this blog especially well: translation needs cover most world languages, and regarding advice on legal issues, a couple of examples I saw recently ranged from assistance in registering a charity to determining refugee status.

To find out more:

6 thoughts on “Online volunteering with the United Nations

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