In a recent post, I shared why you should consider virtual volunteering. The reasons are all well and good—we need a basis from which to begin recruiting remote volunteers—but I know they leave us with a nibbling question. The question’s this: what tasks can virtual volunteers perform?
The answer: anything you can do via a laptop or mobile phone. In our day and age, the mantra is “have Wi-Fi, will work from anywhere and at any time.” I know that’s a broad definition, so let’s narrow the scope a bit. Personally, I recommend finding small repeatable tasks that can be completed from home or any Wi-Fi-enabled location. (Starbucks, anyone?) Here are 15 examples of such assignments.
- Brainstorm ideas for social media content – Think through specific themes for the upcoming month related to sermon topics, holidays, special events, etc. Ask volunteers to brainstorm social media posts and content tied to those themes. They can gather them in a shared Google doc or other collaboration platform.
- Pull quotes from messages and lessons – Assign a volunteer to review sermons, children and youth lessons, small group curriculum, etc. and pull quotes that can be repurposed for different platforms and channels.
- Share, comment, and engage with church social media content – Task a team of volunteers to intentionally seek out your church social media content and engage with it to help spread the word.
- Write content – Have some volunteers who are great writers? Send them topics for weekly devotions or blog posts. You can also request event descriptions, announcements, and any other content needed.
- Record voice-overs – Our weekly video announcements use voice-overs, so I have volunteers record them mid-week from home.
- Edit videos – A few of our virtual volunteers have some video editing experience. They edit our weekly video announcements and create other videos from the comfort of their home.
- Retouch photos – Have photographers in your congregation? They can help retouch photos remotely.
- Create presentation slides – If you use presentation slides for sermons and announcements, create templates that a volunteer can format every week.
- Design graphics – If your team includes someone with design experience, assign larger design projects like flyers, brochures, and handouts to them. You can also train someone with limited graphic design experience to use a tool like Canva.
- Schedule social media posts – Volunteers can be trained to use social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. One of my volunteers schedules content and pins our latest online content to our church Pinterest board.
- Research – All kinds of research can be completed from home. I’ve had volunteers research demographics for our area, document how to create a custom Snapchat filter, and update public relations contact lists.
- Project management – If you use a web-based project management tool like I do, you can recruit a volunteer to assign tasks to team members, follow-up on overdue tasks, and pull reports.
- Website updates – Have a content management system? Virtual volunteers can schedule blog posts, make website content changes, and add events to the calendar.
- Proofread – Nothing is worse than finding a mistake after printing a communications piece. Send files to a volunteer to proof for you.
- Administrative support tasks – Miscellaneous tasks like scheduling meetings, following up with team members, folding print pieces, and transcribing messages can all be completed from home.
What other tasks have or would you assign virtual volunteers? Have any tips about managing remote recruits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For more help with volunteers, from roles to recruiting, to check out the resources in our membership site, Courageous Storytellers.Image: David Machiavello Creative Commons