A reminder to keep doing good with virtual volunteering

A reminder to keep doing good with virtual volunteering

At Goodera, our work banter and email threads are full of goodness – The team keeps curating and sharing stories of social impact from across the globe all the time. Recently, someone shared a video from Emirate’s 2018 ‘Give in to giving’ campaign. It shares a beautiful message in 140 seconds as the protagonist realizes the value and joy of giving back to society.

The video made me think about how our everyday life keeps nudging us to do good. Give your seat in the bus to someone who needs it more than you, help someone cross the road, buy food for those who can’t, and so much more. The volume of opportunities to give back to society that we have on a usual day is immense. The opportunities to do so little and yet make a big difference. The opportunities to volunteer for good.

But these are not just opportunities to do good. These are constant, well-placed recalls for us to remind ourselves about the need to do good. On our way to the office and back to home, it’s only when we see the need that we are reminded of being responsible, giving, and doing good.

For you and me, being outside our house is a way for society to show itself to us, reminding us that there is a real opportunity to help someone, do some good. When inside the house, we are very absorbed in the entropy of our own problems. And so  absorbed that sensing a real need outside our house does not come naturally to us.

In the wake of COVID-19, we are not stepping outside our house anymore. As the world moves from the street to the screen, we can no longer do the good we always could on our way to the office or back home.

The immediate impact of the pandemic will certainly subside, but the change that it brings to our ways is not completely reversible. The fear that a touch can pass on a lot more than just energy will plague us for long. A lot of work will be done from home, and you and I will probably not walk to the office so often.

You are no more walking on the streets where the need is. You will no longer be naturally reminded about the need to give, the role you have to play.

At Goodera, we build the infrastructure for corporates, nonprofits, and individuals, to come together and do good. And when you stand in our shoes, you will see that a tectonic shift in our ways of giving is inevitable, and imminent.

As we move from streets to screens, we need to compensate for the absence of naturally occurring opportunities and cues to help. The need is to make discovery of such opportunities easy, and replicate the experience and joy of giving in a physical world.

The new way has to be as easy as giving your seat to someone who needs it more than you. Actionable from where you work, from your home. A way for our new world on screens.

This new way is virtual volunteering.

For the uninitiated, virtual volunteering is the same as volunteering, but delivered through technology. This shift is similar to how currencies moved digital – a gradual but global change where we are no longer dependent on the physical manifestation, and still deliver the value.

Virtual volunteering will not bring us out to the streets, but it will open up the world for us. It will give us opportunities from corners of the globe far away from our work and home. We will be able to touch lives and bring joy not just on the streets, but across the globe. As the screen becomes our world, giving will be just a tap away with virtual volunteering.

At Goodera, we are working on ways to make giving easy, and make the joy of giving real even when you volunteer through your screen. We are supporting nonprofits adapt to the new world, and are helping companies in making volunteering opportunities more accessible and exciting for their employees.

For the while, and until we evolve in newer ways, you will not be reminded to do good as often as before. So remind yourself. And if you did watch the campaign by Emirates in the beginning, be like the protagonist and also remind someone you care about.

As an individual, as an employee, as a leader or as any other agent of social impact, continue doing the good you do with virtual volunteering.

PS – Join us at the Karma summit 2020 as a stakeholder in the dialogue to rebuild our communities.

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