One Voice for Animals UK Guest Blog by Val Green
What is it?
Virtual volunteering is volunteering to help an animal welfare organisation (rescue, sanctuary etc..) from the comfort of your own home using your phone, laptop or PC.
What might I be doing?
Acting as an administrator or moderator on an organisation's Facebook page/group - sharing content to followers, managing the forum and checking/responding to private messages. You might also belong to other groups such as One Voice for Animals UK and share useful information, offers and opportunities back to your group.
Acting in a fundraising capacity running online fundraisers.
Checking through applications to foster or adopt animals, identifying those that are unsuitable (and letting the person know) and passing on those that need further review.
Organising home checks, transport requests, vet visits etc.
Creating content for social media platforms such as Instagram - making short catchy videos, creating artwork, sourcing royalty free photographs (or taking your own) which all help the rescue build a brand and reach more people who can help them.
If you have the right experience or qualifications - help with records management, accounting, helping rescues apply for grants, helping rescues apply for charity or unincorporated association status are all useful.
What skills do I need?
1. Time commitment.
Work out how much time you can give on a regular basis, and agree this with the rescue and please, please stick to it, or let them know in advance of any changes. Promising more than you can give could be detrimental to the rescue organisation and the animals they care for.
2. The right skills for the role you volunteer for - for example if you're volunteering to run a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, familiarity with hashtags and the Facebook business app will help. If you're helping rescues apply for grants - good spelling and grammar, communication skills and attention to detail will be beneficial. If you're helping a rescue that uses Microsoft One Drive or Google Drive - basic skills in Word and Excel help.
3. Enthusiasm and the ability to know what you're offering WILL make a difference. Good virtual volunteers are gold dust - you free up time for more animals to be helped.
What's in it for me?
Volunteering is one of the most selfless and rewarding things a person can do. Knowing your actions are making a real difference can be a really satisfying feeling. It's a great thing to add to your CV too with lots of transferable skills.
Some organisations (including OVFAUK) will be happy to give references.
If you want to volunteer with an organisation on the One Voice for Animals UK database, helpanimals.co.uk, or with us at OVFAUK directly - please email email@example.com with the following information:
Your preferred email and telephone number.
Where in the UK you are located?
What type of organisation you want to help (wildlife rescue, pet rescue, Vegan sanctuary, equines etc..)
How much time you can commit to and how often? - For example, you might be able to offer 10 hours as a one off, or you might be able to commit to a few hours a week, or an hour a day and when in the day you can commit to (day time or evenings).
What you can offer and what experience you have.
Any prior volunteering experience?
Any questions you want to ask us or any prospective organisation we might be able to place you with.
Thank you and good luck with your application.
One Voice for Animals UK has a rescue directory of almost 300 organisations that need support. If you enjoyed this blog, head over and find your local rescue and make a donation