6 online volunteering opportunities: how to volunteer from home

A woman smiles brightly at a laptop open in front of her.

Volunteering is a great way to spend time giving back to communities and groups of people in need of a helping hand. When it comes to volunteering, working at a soup kitchen or a food bank might spring to mind. But diving nose-first into a thick and musky pile of manure at your local community garden isn’t on everyone’s bucket list. Not to worry – there are an increasing number of ways to volunteer from home. 

Also known as ‘online volunteering’ or ‘virtual volunteering’, volunteering from home is a fantastic way to make a tangible impact on vulnerable groups of people and even animals. And all from the comfort of your home! So, why not try your hand at ‘volunteering from home’? Explore these online volunteering opportunities and find the perfect way to give a little bit back, all while forging meaningful connections. 

What is remote volunteering?

Online volunteering can take many forms and we’re going to dive into some of the online volunteering opportunities out there shortly, don’t worry. But first, what is remote volunteering? 

Simply put, it’s conducting charity work from home – whether it’s reading to children over a video call, making a phone call to check in with a new virtual buddy or identifying vulnerable animals in trap camera images, there are loads of ways we can help others remotely. 

But why is it important that we can volunteer from home? Well, it enables everyone to care for others. A person might be less able to leave the home, either due to a physical disability or mental health condition, or they might live in a remote area where there are fewer opportunities to volunteer. But when we can do volunteer work from home, we widen the opportunity to care for others.  

We all deserve to be cared for. Online volunteering opportunities enable more people to care for others in unique ways. What’s not to love? 

Different types of charity work from home

So, we know volunteering from home is a wonderful way to enable us to care for others, but what are some online volunteering ideas? In this curated list of online volunteering opportunities there will be something for everyone, so no matter your skills or abilities, there will be an opportunity that’s just right for you. Plus, you’ll also get inspired to find new opportunities too! And trust us, there are some really cool ways we can all volunteer from home (space exploration from the sofa, anyone?)


Before signing-up or getting stuck in with these initiatives, have a read of the terms of service of each initiative to make sure you’re eligible and that it’s right for you!

With that in mind, let’s get into these six exciting online volunteering opportunities to find out how to volunteer from home: 

1. ZSL Instant Wild

Whether you’re a certified animal fanatic or just understand the importance of protecting some of our most vulnerable species, taking part in ZSL Instant Wild’s conservation work from the comfort of your own home is a fantastic remote volunteering opportunity. 

What is it? 

  • ZSL Instant Wild brings you live images and videos from incredible locations all over the world – it's up to you to then identify the animals in each image. In doing so you’re making a really positive impact on wildlife in remote locations, all without leaving your home. 
  • ZSL Instant Wild is available both as an app for your smartphones as well as online and anyone can get involved. 

Why we love it! 

  • For those of us who aren’t able to reach exotic locations like the rainforests of Borneo, ZSL Instant Wild is a really fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in these places, all while helping conservationists and scientists understand the movement of wild animals – from bulldozing rhinos and elephants, to slick sharks and cheeky monkeys. 
  • Anyone can get involved! What’s more, you don’t need any specific skills – just a keen eye and love of nature. 
  • Get involved on the ZSL Instant Wild website.


Love the idea of volunteering with animals? Check out our guide on how to volunteer with animals for loads more great ideas on how to get hands on.

2. Zooniverse

Similar to ZSL Instant Wild, Zooniverse relies on the power of remote volunteers to complete a wide range of tasks, all in the name of scientific research. There is truly a staggering amount you can do to help out on Zooniverse. From their Chimp and See programme – which relies on remote volunteers to identify images of chimps – to projects where you can help transcribe historical documents, Zooniverse is a one-stop-shop for fascinating online volunteering opportunities. 

What is it? 

  • It’s the world’s largest platform for people-powered research, enabling individuals all over the globe to get involved in super interesting projects. 

Why we love it! 

  • Whether you’re a history buff, animal fanatic or wannabe space explorer, there’s truly something for everyone on Zooniverse. 
  • There’s no minimum time requirement needed – simply do as little or as much as you like! Just take a look at their projects page, find a project that takes your fancy, and get stuck in! 
  • Get involved on the Zooniverse website.

3. Tarjimly

For those with extra language skills, Tarjimly embodies charity work from home that's both rewarding and impactful. 

What is it? 

  • Tarjimly connects multilingual online volunteers to refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian workers all over the world, enabling translation and interpretation assistance. 
  • Tarjimly comes in the shape of a smartphone app – after signing up, you’ll receive notifications when someone needs translation and interpretation help for the language you speak. 
  • You’ll obviously need proficiency in at least two languages in order to provide translation assistance to those in need of help; you’ll also be required to conduct Tarjimly’s code of conduct training. 

Why we love it! 

  • According to Tarjimly, there are 30 million refugees globally and 44% of them are unable to communicate with those trying to help them. Tarjimly enables those of us with language skills to volunteer from home and make a real difference straight away to those in need of a helping hand. 
  • Download the Tarjimly app from Google Play or the App Store.

4. UN Volunteers

The United Nations is the global organisation dedicated to a wide range of peace, humanitarian, and conservation efforts worldwide. Volunteering for the UN is a great way to care for any number of vulnerable groups across the world, but it might not be something you thought possible without leaving home. Now they have online volunteering opportunities, enabling more people than ever to care for others. 

What is it? 

  • The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme’s Online Volunteering service connects remote volunteers across the globe to peace, development, and humanitarian efforts. 
  • With so many unique and varied online volunteering opportunities available, the level of skill and experience required to get stuck in will vary. Check out their opportunities to see how you can help out. 

Why we love it! 

  • The United Nations is a trusted and respected provider of humanitarian, sustainability and education efforts in the world. Its Online Volunteering service enables people from all over the world to play a part in rich and impactful projects that have far-reaching results. 
  • You can apply from any device, anywhere in the world, regardless of your background. 
  • This programme allows people with a wide range of skills to get involved, no matter how niche. Whether you’re a retired teacher or logistics expert, the Online Volunteering service enables care for all. Check out the website for more information.

5. Be My Eyes

In the UK alone, more than 2 million people are living with sight loss, while every single day an estimated 250 people begin to lose their sight.1 Sight loss can a massive struggle and makes everyday life that much more challenging. That’s where Be My Eyes comes in. 

What is it? 

  • Be My Eyes is the free mobile app that has one goal: to make the world more accessible for those with sight loss, no matter the extent of it. 
  • Be My Eyes connects those with sight loss to remote volunteers who can help out with everyday tasks. A volunteer might help pick out a shirt, identify signs, help with the weekly shop, and much more. 

Why we love it! 

  • Be My Eyes is an innovative way to connect those in need with those willing to help. Not only that, Be My Eyes users can request help in over 180 languages, making it a truly unique solution to an issue that affects so many of us, no matter where they’re from. 
  • Download the app or check out the website to see how you can get involved! 
  • Over 6 million volunteers have signed up to help blind and low vision people – a truly remarkable testament to the willing of the general public to help others out. That’s something we can all celebrate.

6. Sense

Sense is the charity that supports deafblind individuals and those with complex disabilities, empowering those individuals to experience the world and reach their full potential. They do truly amazing work for those in need of a helping hand and now they can offer charity work from home, too, enabling whole communities of people to care for others on their terms as Sense Virtual Buddies. 

What is it? 

  • Sense Virtual Buddying is a really great scheme that connects online volunteers with disabled people across the country for an hour a week. This allows disabled people to have fun, learn new skills, form meaningful connections and simply have a bit of a natter! 
  • This usually happens over video calls or on the phone, but if you’re not a fan of chatting on the phone, you can write letters, emails and texts too! 

Why we love it! 

  • Sense Virtual Buddying is a wonderful way for virtually anyone to connect with others and make a real impact, all just by having a natter! 
  • You don’t need any specific skills to become a Sense Virtual Buddy – just bring a smile. 
  • Find out more information on the Sense Virtual Buddying system by checking out the Sense Virtual Buddying page.

Don’t fancy volunteering from home? That's totally fine. There are loads of other ways you can show a bit of care to others, like donating old clothes to charitable organisations or volunteering with animals. Picture this: wagging tails, furry paws, and a cartoon-esque silhouette of dog hair slowly settling on your shoulders after the latest fluffy prince darts off with your shoe! Dedicating your time (and footwear...) to support our four-legged friends helps foster a loving bond that benefits both you and the little rascal.

Now you know how to volunteer from home

With these online volunteering ideas, now you not only have an answer to the question ‘What is remote volunteering?’, but you also have some real, concrete options for doing your own charity work from home. And who knows, it may even lead to completely new interests or obsessions – so be prepared to go down some internet research rabbit holes, with a cuppa in one hand and biscuits in the other, all from the cookie-crumb-laden comfort of your own sofa.

With these ideas, everyone has the chance to enact care for others, without leaving the house. No one should be excluded from having the chance to show care for others, no matter your age, background, ability or location. So, whether you’re spotting chimps in Congolese jungles, or simply having a bit of a chat with someone over a video call, let’s get stuck into these online volunteering opportunities and start making a difference today.

Volunteering shows others that we care. If you want to show your little ones the importance of caring, why not check out our top tips for family friendly volunteering? Teaching kids the importance of showing care to others is an important lesson that can have a wider impact on others, too.

How we care

Here at Plenty, we’re committed to care. We design our kitchen towel to be as caring and effective as possible in your home. But that’s not where our care ends. 

We also care for the planet. That’s why we’re constantly finding ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. Take our packaging, where we’re working towards 100% recyclability and the use of 85% of renewable or recycled materials by 2025. We’re also working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in our production sites by 25% by 2030, from a 2016 base-year. Why not check out more of our sustainability commitments and how we care for the planet?


1 RNIB, Key Statistics About Sight Loss

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