Remote Community Engagement Opportunities
This list is compiled to help CSUSB faculty and students stay virtually community-engaged. If you found this list useful, we would appreciate hearing about your experience. Email us at:
Arts and Letters
My Life My StoriesMy Life, My Stories aims to build relationships between the young and the old to create a more empathetic and connected community. phone calls with seniors to create a memoir
National Park ServiceOnline volunteers can test, evaluate or develop elements of the NPS’ online presence.
Operation Photo RescueIf you have experience working in PhotoShop, you can help to restore personal photos for victims of floods and other natural disasters.
Tarjimly"Translate for me” in Arabic. This online tool, founded in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, is designed to increase the efficiency of humanitarian services by reducing language barriers for those giving and receiving help. When a situation arises for an emergency translation — from Farsi to French — users can ping a virtual volunteer translator. Tarjimly is used by the Seattle Flu Study, Harvard Medical School and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The Human VoicebankAll you have to do is read a few sentences to contribute your voice to be used in assistive technology for people who are unable to vocalize.
The Man Who Recorded the WorldHelp to transcribe the notebooks and letters of folklorist Alan Lomax who documented most of the 20th century American and Caribbean folk music.
Business and Public Administration
MicroMentorMatches small business owners with business mentors. If you want to be a volunteer mentor, you should have three years of business ownership experience, or five years of management experience, or several years of professional experience in a specialized skill, such as marketing, web site development, accounting, financial planning, etc. The program is part of MercyCorps.
PartnerUpPartnerUp is an online community focused on the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. You can volunteer your business expertise to answer questions online from small business owners, entrepreneurs, independent contractors. Online volunteers provide expertise in agriculture and farming, businesses related to arts and entertainment, banking, financial services and insurance, international trade, manufacturing, mining, industry-specific marketing and advertising, real estate, restaurants, transportation, waste management and more. It's a part of SCORE, a nonprofit helping small businesses "get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship."
Taproot FoundationThe Taproot Foundation its consulting service for nonprofits. Volunteers can provide pro bono support for nonprofits, helping with projects like developing a social media strategy, developing an employee handbook development, guiding on business plan creation, providing a financial analysis or technology assessments, etc. Online volunteers also help nonprofits brainstorm, troubleshoot, and diagnose challenges in a one-hour, one-on-one virtual consultation sessions regarding marketing, human resources, strategic planning, finance, technology and more. Volunteers also lead lightening round consulting, teaming up with a small group of skilled volunteers to address a nonprofit’s challenge—from scope to deliverable—in one day.
BookShare.OrgBookShare.Org offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer you can either scan books to be added to the collection or edit books that have been scanned.
FLOSS ManualsOnline volunteers produce free manuals about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in their own language. "Today we have more than 120 books in more than 30 languages and more than 3,000 contributors over 5 independent language communities (French, English, Farsi, Dutch, Finnish)."
Khan AcademyHelp Khan translate learning materials in 59 different languages.
Learning AllyLearning Ally, formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Many audiobooks are created with text-to-speech software that scans text from computer files and uses synthesized human voices to read the text aloud. However, illustrations or figures used throughout the books are not included. Online volunteers type those figure descriptions into the text, enabling students to receive ALL book material, not just the text.
LibriVoxRead and record chapters of books in the public domain (e.g. published before 1923) to create free public domain audiobooks.
Project GutenbergThe goal is to create the largest digital library, and so far, they’ve amassed 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading others’ work.
Natural Sciences*No volunteers currently needed
eBirdObserve and record birds from your home and help further scientific research with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Elephant seals, sea lions, cormorants, oh my!Help to identify and count marine mammals and birds in Año Nuevo Reserve
Etch a CellLook at images of cells that were produced using an Electron Microscope and help segment the cell by drawing around structures of interest in the image such as mitochondria.
Eye for Diabetes Help to develop a computer model for diagnosing diabetic retinopathy by looking at photos of the back of the eye and marking abnormalities.
Gravity SpyHelp to classify sources of noise (glitches) so scientists can better understand gravitational waves.
inaturalist.orgOne of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
MarineBio E-volunteersMarineBio seeks online volunteers to serve as science content producers/editors to write new content about marine biology, conservation and science. "We are looking primarily for proactive, independent, biology, zoology, marine biology, etc. students and graduates who wish to help us with our mission and goals. We are also interested in talking with you if you simply have time, energy and an interest in marine life and would like to help make a difference. We also need help with marketing and PR, networking with similar groups, and researching various topics involving marine conservation and marine life."
Maturity of Baby SoundsHelp to classify very short recordings of babies’ speech sounds to better understand the first stages of language learning.
Mozilla/Firefox.Did you know that this web browser is produced by a nonprofit organization? "We believe in the power and potential of the Internet and want to see it thrive for everyone, everywhere." Mozilla involves hundreds of online volunteers, and "You don't have to be a C++ guru (or even know what that means!)" to contribute as an online volunteer.
Penguin WatchCount penguins in remote regions to help us understand their lives and environment
Smithsonian Archives of American GardensThis is an online database of thousands of images in the Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center. By correctly tagging an image regarding the types of plants in the image, the structures, objects, people or any details you notice, you help make that image more useful to professional catalogers.
Stall CatchersView short videos from the brains of mice and identify the catch points where the blood flow “stalls”. This work will help researchers understand how stalls contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and help to identify new possible treatments.
Western Shield Camera WatchHelp to protect Western Australia’s native wildlife by identifying species in camera images.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Carnamah Historical Society virtual volunteering initiativeonline volunteers help with transcription and indexing projects to make historical records more discoverable and searchable.
Citizen Archivist with National ArchivesHelp make the records of the National Archives more searchable and discoverable.
Criminal CharactersTranscribe the records of persons imprisoned from the 1850s-1940s in Australia.
Crisis Text LineProvide crisis support through texting after going through 30 hour training. Prefer at least 4 hours a week and a minimum of 200 hour commitment over a year's time. Preference for 7:00 pm. to 3:00 am PST shifts. "Crisis Counselors answer texts from people in crisis, bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning."
Doe NetworkDevoted to to assisting official law enforcement agencies in solving cold cases concerning unexplained disappearances and unidentified Victims from North America, Australia and Europe. Online volunteers also help translate documents into various languages. The Doe Network has been recognized as part of the Responsible Volunteer Community by the U.S.A. Department Of Justice.
Grand Canyon Oral Histories.The project involves the taping of oral interviews with any number of people who lived or worked in the Grand Canyon or the nearby region. Online volunteers transcribe them. The recorded interviews and transcriptions are being archivally stored in the Museum Collections at Grand Canyon National Park and made available online. "It is our hope these interviews will become a lasting record for the personal histories of the Grand Canyon, to be used in future research endeavors."
Missing MapsMissing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organizations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people.
New York Public Library's collection of historic restaurant menusIf menus have been transcribed by other volunteers, then online volunteers can review transcriptions for errors, or can geotag the location of restaurants on a global map.
44 Street Map is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by online volunteers, and anyone can contribute to its geographical database.
SCOTUS NotesHelp to transcribe the handwritten conference notes left by Supreme Court justices, providing insight into how law and policy are made by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Smithsonian Digital VolunteersLaunched in July 2013, the Smithsonian Transcription Center seeks to engage the public in making our collections more accessible. Citizen scholars are invited to transcribe historic documents including diaries and working papers of prominent Americans and records associated with the Smithsonian's vast scientific collections. Transcription makes these important materials more accessible to researchers around the world, as well as the general public.
The National Map Corps (TNM Corps)The National Map Corps (TNM Corps), part of the U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). USA citizens collect data on structures and use it to add new features, remove obsolete points and correct data for The National Map database. Structures include schools, colleges and universities, fire stations, law enforcement centers, prisons, state government offices, hospitals and clinics, cemeteries, and post offices.
Translators Without BordersProvide translation from English to other languages of documents and health information, such as travel bans, instructions for mask wearing.etc. "Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, building local language solutions and raising awareness of the power of language. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of lifesaving and life-changing information a year"
Additional Virtual Community Engagement Outlets
Catch a FireMultitude of different projects that students can apply to work on. Projects range in commitment time (Ex. 1 hour phone calling for fundraising OR 3-5 hours for 1-2 weeks for setting up a webinar and training for Elder Law and Advocacy) Students would have to make an account. Once general email and name is gathered you select what skills you have and then causes that you are intereseted in supporting. After account is made you can apply to work on projects that have an application process.
OmprakashPartner organizations use platform to recruit volunteers and interns, raise funds, and connect with each other, while individuals use the platform to find international volunteer and internship opportunities, raise funds, and receive accredited online training and mentorship.
Points of Light | Creating a Global Culture of Volunteering"Our global community cannot flourish without a shared vision of what's possible, and processes that are coordinated, efficient and inclusive. At Points of Light, we're committed to providing the tools, insights and connections needed to ensure the social sector continues to grow and innovate in this rapidly changing world."
United Nations VolunteerThe United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. 86 different opportunities to chose from!
Virtual American Red Cross VolunteersSearch for “virtual” in the search bar to find virtual/volunteer from home positions. *Note: Positions will vary based on location.
WikiMediaEditors contribute new articles and improve current articles. Developers write and debug the code that makes the wikis go. Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums share their collections and expertise.
ZooniverseThe Zooniverse enables everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities for you to unlock answers and contribute to real discoveries.