What’s the Time Commitment for Volunteering Virtually?
We understand that life can get in the way and keep you busy — but that’s one of the best parts about virtual volunteering: there’s less of a time commitment than in-person volunteering. With your commute being just a click away, there’s more time for learning and less time driving!
The time commitment for volunteering virtually usually varies according to the volunteer opportunity, but you can expect many places to require a minimum time commitment.
For example, Kelly said, “I volunteer every couple of months or so. For me, the time commitment is a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. The times or day may change depending on the volunteer activity.”
Liz shared that her commitment varied depending on the time of year and circumstance, saying, “Over the summer, we met with the mentees two hours a week for three weeks in a row. Now we meet for one hour every month.”
Only have a short amount of time to give a month? That’s okay! Jason said he volunteers for one hour a month, so finding places that’ll work with whatever time you’re able to give, whether it be thirty minutes or five hours a month, is definitely an option. Don’t hesitate to find out how much time is expected for you to commit before signing up — knowing the time commitment up front will help you prepare and better manage your time. And remember, if it’s not a good fit and you find yourself struggling to meet the time requirements, talk to your volunteer lead contact to see if they can work with you.
What Are the Benefits of Volunteering Virtually?
Volunteering in person is great, but volunteering virtually has a set of benefits all in its own — our volunteers helped us identify some specific to virtual volunteering:
It’s less limited. Volunteering virtually can give you more options than in person, since you’re not restricted by distance or location. You can volunteer online across the world if you dream of making an impact across the globe! Take it from Jason, who says his favorite benefit is, “You don’t have to drive anywhere!”
Jennifer said one of her favorite benefits of virtually volunteering is, “Being able to commit without the added schedule restraints and limitations of getting to facilities throughout my city. And being able to volunteer remotely has opened opportunities for places all over the country.”
It’s flexible. Being able to digitally volunteer gives you more flexibility in your schedule to commit to volunteering, too. Liz said, “One benefit of virtual volunteering is that it’s very accessible and easy to dedicate time to during the workday.” If you’d like to squeeze in volunteering into your breaks at work, just make sure your manager and team know in advance!
It’s safer. Kelly said one of the benefits of virtual volunteering is that it feels safer for her. Given the pandemic, many things, like work and school, have turned virtual to keep people socially distant and safe. Volunteering is no different!
Looking for ways to give back safely? Here are some simple ways you can support others while social distancing.
What’s the Most Rewarding Part About Virtual Volunteering?
Still unsure if virtual volunteering is for you? Consider this: Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community, help those in need and do something for the greater good. You can meet new people, learn new skills and challenge yourself to try something different. Plus, it simply feels good to give back!
When asked what’s the most rewarding part about volunteering, Jennifer said, “There is no greater joy in life than in the things you can’t buy. Knowing that by helping someone you’re improving their day and making connections with people you otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s also very important to realize that what you gain out of a volunteer program can be so rewarding — not just for the mentee but also the mentor.”
Kelly said that what’s most rewarding for her is, “Seeing the children get involved, even if it was via chat or unmuting themselves. They were willing to speak up and share their thoughts and their creativity. Giving children the autonomy to collaborate, experiment and make their own decisions is the best learning there is.”