4 Ways to Volunteer from Home as a Writer
If you’re a poet, you may wish to apply your writing skills to other creative endeavors, job prospects, or opportunities. A simple way to expand your skill set, develop your craft, and expand your network is through volunteering—plus, you gain the satisfaction of contributing to a cause close to your heart. Writing or editing as a volunteer can also help you build your portfolio, which is crucial to landing freelance or full-time gigs.
Nonprofit organizations regularly rely on volunteers to donate their skills, time, and effort. Because many of us have little free time, volunteering remotely from the comfort of your home is a simple and accessible option. To help you find your next volunteer role, we’ve created a list of opportunities for you to consider during your research.
Reader for a literary magazine or journal
Literary magazines and journals provide an outlet for writers to publish their work. These publications often seek out volunteers to read and rate submissions, including poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction pieces.
Becoming a volunteer reader allows you to automatically join a community of writers and editors, helping you hone your skills, make connections in the publishing world, and support fellow storytellers. Plus, getting your foot in the door is the first step to having your work published or advancing to an editor position.
Writing poetry requires strong editing skills, since each word or phrase should serve a specific purpose. Use this valuable skill set by becoming a volunteer copy editor.
Nonprofits need editors to ensure the accuracy and conciseness of written content, from website to email copy. Editing is a crucial part of the communications process, and clean copy communicates a sense of professionalism and expertise, which can help organizations increase donations and attract volunteers.
Social media content creator
Being a poet requires developing a strong voice and storytelling abilities. Transfer these skills to creating content as a social media volunteer. Most organizations have communications teams that manage social media accounts, since these platforms help spread a message, build a community, and create change. Use your creative writing skills to craft social media copy to strategically increase followers, engage current supporters, and reach new volunteers.
As a bonus, if you’re interested in starting a poetry account for Instagram or TikTok, this opportunity will help you gain insight and knowledge about effective social media strategies.
Consider researching volunteer blogger positions. Many nonprofits require volunteers to write relevant content, from Q&A interviews with staff to educational pieces to feature stories about events. Writing for an organization’s blog is a simple, fun way to build your portfolio and diversify your skill set.
Keep in mind: if you don’t see your preferred opportunity on a nonprofit’s website, send an email to staff pitching your role. They’ll likely be impressed and appreciative of your initiative, setting a good foundation for a future working relationship. Once you are welcomed as a volunteer, communicate with your editor or supervisor to directly define your boundaries, stating how often you can commit to your responsibilities. Don’t hesitate to say no—volunteering should bring you a sense of purpose or enjoyment, not overwhelm and frustration.