7 Virtual Volunteer Ideas

Volunteering has always brought people together in service of a common cause but now we must do this online due to COVID-19. There are more people than ever stuck at home and ready to work, the question is how to engage them? Once you have found the right idea post it where volunteers will find it, then consider a volunteer management tool to make sure they are well managed.

Here are some ideas to make the most of volunteers online:

Data/Image Projects

1. Social media analytics report

Have your intern review the past year of posts and data from your major platforms. They should answer questions the staff has about performance, give a 30k foot view of what happened, and generate insights about what’s working in a report. For fun, have them also prepare a 30 minute presentation for the organization. Have your interns take the Whole Whale Be Your Own Social Media Guru course before getting started

2. Data hygiene projects

This can range from cleaning and completing Salesforce, spreadsheet, CRM or other databases for stakeholders. Make sure to create a dev copy and avoid letting interns edit live databases.  

3. Manage and Organize Photo Library

The right photo can make or break a campaign or donation pages. There are never enough photos to satisfy the social media monsters either which all rely on compelling images. Have a volunteer organize your image assets and put them in the right folders or work to build a library on Box.com, Dropbox, flickr or a shared Google Photos account.

4. Build a Photo Library

Similar to the last idea but challenge volunteers to find the types of photos you need in their personal libraries or venture out with a mask and take some. Expand this task to managing a public contest for supporters to email in pictures that volunteers can then clean up and put into the master library.

Ideas that Could Raise Money

5. Thank You Letter Campaign

Take a page from Donors Choose’s personalized donation thank you letters. Find and organize volunteers to write letters to thank or request donations for the cause. The way that Vote Forward manages volunteers is by letting people “adopt” a mailing list of potential voters and then gives instructions for them to send letters from a printed script that can be customized. More about donor thank you messaging and templates.

Template plus personalization from a small volunteer

6. Facebook Fundraising Stewardship

Setting up Facebook fundraising is a huge source of revenue for many nonprofits but it is a very manual process to thank every fundraiser on Facebook. Recruit volunteer thank you ambassadors to leave scripted messages on fundraising pages. A quick way to find these is to use this Facebook Fundraising Dashboard that shows a list of links to every page and then have volunteers go through and check each one off.

Facebook fundraising dashboard

7. Manage the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits

The grant offers $10k per month in digital advertising that can drive traffic to main pages on your site. This traffic can lead to increased emails of supporters which can than be converted into donors over time. Recruit some volunteer marketers, have them take the Google Ad Grant Online Course that will train them on how to manage this very particular type of advertising.