We are officially in December, so we can officially start talking about Christmas.
To paraphrase Frank Cross in in the 1988 classic Scrooged,
It’s Christmas! It’s the one time of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a short time out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!
At this time of year, lots of us want to volunteer and give back in some way. However, a lack of time and knowledge about where we can help gets in the way.
You may have heard of microvolunteering or cyberteering, which describe the short, digitally connected volunteering opportunities that you can do from your sofa in your PJs. This online volunteering is far easier to make time for and hones in on opportunities where we can really utilise our skills.
Not sure where to start? Here are some examples of where you can find cyberteering opportunities:
The UN has a great site that can crowdsource volunteering needs from across the world. Prospective volunteers can search by task (like writing, research or translation), by development topic (like youth, education, health) or region of the world.
Help from home capitalises on activities that you might be doing anyway and looks at small changes you can make or do that could really help someone or a cause. This could be as simple as opting out from paper-based junk mail to creating reviews of books for people with visual impairments.
I particularly like the Pyjama Rating leaving you in no doubt that these are all things that could be done while you are mooching on the sofa.
SkillsForChange matches volunteers to causes they care about with just a few easy questions. They look at the skills you can bring, particularly for marketers and digital communications bods.
They are pitching themselves at a younger working audience who have grown up on their phones, using the internet and feel comfortable in the online world, although they make it clear anyone is welcome!
The tools are there and it is now possible for you to volunteer even 15 minutes of your time to a good cause.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s change the world!