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Tech & Social Impact: What specific opportunities are there?

Published July 18, 2019

This is the last in a series of posts about how folks who work in tech can be superheroes of social impact in their own backyards - wherever that might be, no matter how busy they are, and no matter their specific skills.

The first piece examined why we should volunteer; the second explored how folks can choose types of volunteering best suited for their goals and needs. In this final post, we'll look at the plethora of tech or tech-adjacent volunteering opportunities available, as well as national and local resources for finding options in your own community.



Volunteering opportunities by type


💻 CODE

  • Contribute to open-source
  • Participate in community hackathons
  • Help build or maintain websites for community groups and nonprofits


📝 WRITE

  • Blog to share your knowledge
  • Create tutorials for others to learn


💡 MENTOR

Check for established programs, or just reach out to see if anyone is interested in an adhoc mentoring relationship.

  • Local colleges or universities
  • Area tech meetups
  • Young professionals groups
  • Alumni networks


🍎 TEACH / TUTOR

Maybe it's a one-time workshop, maybe it's a semester-long program, maybe it's weekly tutoring - there are almost certainly opportunities available in your area.

  • Community centers
  • Senior centers
  • After-school programs


📅 ORGANIZE

Pick your favorite local tech group and reach out to see how you can help; if your area is lacking, consider starting your own!

  • Meetups
  • Local chapters of national organizations


💰 FUND

Maybe you don't have a lot of extra time, but you're able to support financially. I can say from experience that local meetups can always use help.

  • Donate to local tech nonprofits
  • Provide a scholarship for someone to study tech in your area
  • Sponsor events (provide space, snacks or both!)


🗣 SPEAK

Don't feel like you have to wait to be asked - if you have an idea, reach out to your local educational institutions / community groups and see if they're interested! (They almost certainly are.)

  • Conferences
  • High school / university classes
  • Meetups


📡 SIGNAL BOOST

Promote voices from the tech community that are often marginalized; use your platforms to elevate their message.

  • Social media
  • The  speakers you select for events



National volunteering resources


TECH ORGANIZATIONS


NATIONAL NONPROFITS


NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MATCHING SITES

Author details

Hilary Stohs-Krause

Software developer
@hilarysk