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How to Reach Out and Help Those in Need: Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

A New Reality for Giving Back

As we are all currently facing the impacts of COVID-19 — and likely for some time to come — we know that many of us feel want to do more to give back to individuals, communities, and organizations which aim to help people in times of need. While we are staying home to flatten the curve and support our at-risk community members, first responders, and frontline workers, we can feel so distant from the people who face the greatest need.

In addition to individuals who need more support than ever, many nonprofit organizations are facing new challenges due to the virus, whether they are serving on the front lines of the crisis, or scrapping together limited resources to continue the important work their constituents rely on.

How You Can Help

We know many of you are already stretched thin — caring for family members, juggling work, and kids at home — but some of you are discovering that you have more time on your hands and want to find ways to volunteer while staying at home.

Whether you are looking for new ways to support small businesses near you or interested in mentoring kids, there are many ways you can help — even under quarantine.

When we help others, it gives us all a feeling of hope and optimism that we will get through this, together. How much time do you have to give back this week? We’ve compiled some ways you can help and are also sharing some here:

Remote Volunteer Opportunities

It only takes 2 minutes — 1 hour to give back:

  • Donate: to your favorite organizations
  • Support your local businesses: order takeout, buy a gift card and tip generously if you have the means. Frontline Foods, Help Main Street, and Dining at a Distance are a few resources.
  • Offer to share your skillset: reach out to a local business to see if they need help transforming their website, rethinking their marketing, understanding the Stimulus bill, pricing strategy, etc.
  • Help with Covid: New or established projects helping with the COVID-19 crisis that need help.
  • CatchaFire: CatchaFire is a community of individuals seeking to support and strengthen the social good sector. They do this by matching professionals who want to donate their time and talent with nonprofits who need those skills.
  • Operation Gratitude: Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America with a way to say “Thank You” to the men and women who serve our country.

Have 2+ hours to give back?

  • MicroMentor: MicroMentor enables the world’s largest community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business mentors to help underserved communities around the globe.
  • UPchieve: UPchieve is a free, online platform that connects low-income high school students in the US with live volunteer coaches any time they need it.
  • United Nations Volunteers: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program contributes to peace and development by providing volunteers to assist (online) with a variety of topics like research, writing/editing, art, leadership strategy, technology development, and more.
  • Translators Without Borders: Translators without Borders (TWB) is a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies, and other non-profit organizations on a global scale.
  • The Granny Cloud: (The term ‘Granny’ is a gender and age free term!) The role of a granny is to provide positive encouragement to children. In sessions, they provide praise and support to enable the children to take the lead in their learning, helping them to explore and develop their natural curiosity.

A longer-term commitment:

  • Crisis Text Line: Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Individuals are able to text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis.
  • American Red Cross Chat: When disaster strikes, Digital Volunteers assist the Social Engagement team in 4-hour shifts by monitoring online conversations, sharing updates through their own social channels, and offering a compassionate voice to people who have been impacted.
  • Empower Work: Empower Work is a non-profit that envisions a world where everyone can thrive and bring their authentic selves to work. Via text, trained volunteers help individuals navigate difficult work situations and environments.
  • Foster a pet: reach out to your local animal shelter to see how you may be able to help.

For healthy individuals, here are a couple of other ways you can support:

No action is too small, and every donation of our time and money makes a difference. If you know of another group that has opportunities for virtual volunteers, we hope you will reach out to us at and share your ideas.

Stay safe and healthy.

At Salesforce Ventures, we have always believed our greatest strength comes from the people who form our community, whether that’s family, friends, teammates, partners, customers, or neighbors. Especially in this challenging time, we feel a deep desire and sense of responsibility to stay connected with you all. We plan to continue to think of new ways to reach out and share helpful resources and information.


The Hidden Genius Project & Salesforce Ventures

Salesforce Ventures and the Salesforce Trailhead team teamed up to host a day of education, mentoring and collaboration with groups from The Hidden Genius Project. Founded in 2012, The Hidden Genius Project was established to train and mentor black, male, high-school students in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.

In 2018, Leah McGowen-Hare and the Salesforce Trailhead team hosted a group of students for the first time at Salesforce to get them introduced to Trailhead and how to build products on the Salesforce platform.

This year, the Salesforce Ventures team was thrilled to host the alumni, a group of young men who had gone through the program and were back with more ideas for 2019. Building on what they’d learned in their first year of the program and their introduction to Salesforce, they came ready with business ideas and apps in development.

The students spent time with members of the Salesforce Ventures team in working sessions where they received guidance and feedback on their business ideas, their app progress, advice on their pitches, and help with the next steps in their entrepreneurship journey. The Salesforce Ventures team also hosted talks to give the group more exposure on topics including how Salesforce Ventures thinks about investing, the venture capital landscape, raising money from VCs (advantages and drawbacks), and best practices for growing teams and ideas.

After a full day of content and learning, the Geniuses and Salesforce teams enjoyed hanging out in Salesforce Park, and then the Salesforce Tower to take in views of San Francisco.

We were honored to host this group of young men and wish them continued success with their endeavors!

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