Charities across the country are recruiting people to volunteer from home using computers and an Internet connection. Groups use online volunteers for jobs like proofreading, mentoring or support, creating databases and translation. Onlinevolunteer.org was founded by the United Nations Volunteers program to help volunteers find a project that fits their skill set. VolunteerMatch and ServiceLeader.org also let you search for "virtual volunteering" opportunities.
The New York Times featured these charities as examples of successful virtual volunteering organizations: Sidelines.org uses volunteers to offer emotional support through emails or phone calls to women with high-risk pregnancies. Macdonald Youth Services, based in Winnipeg, Minn., uses Internet voice and video conferencing to contact its 50-some volunteers scattered all over. Pearls of Africa, a nonprofit that helps AIDS orphans and people with disabilities in Africa, runs solely online.