Ideas to Get Started with Virtual Volunteering in the COVID Climate

As everything around us changes, we’ve had lots of questions about Text Giving and its possibilities. So, this blog series is for charities who need fast actions, especially where traditional ideas of Community Fundraising can’t take place.

Our ideas are instantly actionable, and are there to spark inspiration – after all, you’ll know best what resonates with your supporters. Let’s get to it…


Why Virtual Volunteering?

Whilst volunteering is quickly moving out of more traditional places – such as on-street and door-to-door fundraising, working in charity shops, and volunteering in shelters or food banks – it doesn’t mean that we can’t try to harness virtual volunteering in exciting new digital ways.

Let’s look at how volunteering can be done virtually and how Text Giving can help.


Create a Virtual Collection Bucket (Right Now!)

Collection buckets or boxes as we know them won’t be helpful at this time – but who’s to say the collection bucket can’t be brought onto our screens? Smart, flexible, and more environmentally-friendly, too (no wasted plastic or cardboard!)

We regularly advise fundraisers to add a text keyword to their physical collection bucket to capture any donors who wish to give but don’t have cash on them. But now, anyone can have a virtual bucket.

We’ve created the graphic below for you, using a tool called Canva.

By clicking on this image, you’ll be taken to Canva to edit this virtual bucket template, and instructed how to customise this for your charity.

You can then use this to start collecting donations today.

Donr's virtual bucket collection template

We’ve even created a video to run you through how to do this.

You can then share the graphic on your own social channels, or even send the bucket image to an existing list of volunteers, before asking these individuals to become your ‘Virtual Volunteers’ during this time.

All they’ll need to do is share, share, share the image – ideally alongside a short post about why your cause is in need of donations at this time. If you’re stuck for ideas, find out how to add assemble your virtual volunteers from our digital strategist here.

Virtual collection bucket? Done ✅



Host a “Virtually-There” Coffee Mornings

Why not host a virtual coffee morning and invite volunteers to join? There are so many platforms to choose from such as Facebook, Zoom, or even YouTube.

The brilliant Nikki Bell also included the idea in her latest resource for charities (great minds think alike!), inviting charities to recruit existing volunteers to start the trend and see how far it can spread. [See below for the link to Nikki’s latest blog on Community Fundraising]

Then, if volunteers are happy to host their own coffee mornings in the name of your charity, a text keyword could be given to them to announce during the event.

Where coffee or cake would usually be enjoyed and a small cash donation made in your charity’s name at a physical event, could all those taking part (dunking biscuits from the comfort of their sofa) be invited to make a small donation via text for taking part in the virtual coffee morning?

Cup of tea and biscuits placed in front of an open laptop
Virtual volunteering could be carried out through the medium of digital coffee meetings


Other resources to help

  • In this blog post, Nikki Bell (co-founder of Fundraising Everywhere and founder of Pizza for Losers) breaks down what the ‘new normal’ of community fundraising could look like, and how these ideas can interweave with digital in even more new and exciting ways. Be sure to grab the free download at the end of the blog, which offers some unique community fundraising ideas to try out over the coming weeks (fancy a Pasta Party, anyone?!)


  • North Tyneside VODA has created 4 short but brilliant animated videos to help support the local volunteering efforts happening during the COVID-19 crisis. Covering the likes of safeguarding, telephone befriending and staying safe when volunteering, these videos could be a great resource if you’re looking to bring existing or new volunteers up to speed on some key topics at this time


Thank you for reading – we hope our ideas can help inspire you at this time. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of the above ideas or to let us know what else you’re doing to encourage virtual volunteering, drop us an email at Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s blog entry in this series!

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Latest blog post

4 Case Studies using Text Giving within Venues

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We take a look at how The Normandy Memorial Trust used different Text Giving shortcodes to track the performance of donations by text across a range of campaigns.


If you’re not sure where to start with Text Giving, start here! We answer a range of the most common questions and cover everything you need to know to launch your first Text Giving campaign.

Adding Text Giving to your digital fundraising or emergency appeal? Read our COVID-19 Info Hub