How to volunteer writing and editing services?
February 27, 2017 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I feel like I could help people with my writing and editing skills, but I don't know how to find an organization that needs this kind of help. I've helped a number of friends edit their cover letters for jobs, helped students write college essays, and helped artists revise grant applications. I want to volunteer to help people in this way. What organizations facilitate this kind of work? I would prefer tutoring ESL kids or assisting immigrants filling out paperwork rather than writing free ad or grant copy for a start-up theatre or museum. I guess a social justice or education component of this volunteership is key for me. Any ideas where to start? I am in Chicago but also interested in working remotely.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Work & Money (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Taproot Foundation
posted by scantee at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2017

Possibly the 826 org (link to Chicago chapter) can use you or point you in the right direction?
posted by janey47 at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2017

Take a look at Idealist and VolunteerMatch – they have many ways to sort by location, type of organization and type of work.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 11:53 AM on February 27, 2017

Tutor mentor connection may be worth looking at in terms of ideas - Chicago based. Starting on their FAQ may be the easiest way to get an idea of what to look at first.
posted by typecloud at 11:54 AM on February 27, 2017

Taproot is also good, but it tends to have opportunities focused towards helping an organization rather than the direct service that it sounds like you prefer.
posted by typecloud at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2017

You could talk to recruitment firms, who often have charities knocking they can't help. Great way to build leads. Also, the United Way may have organisations looking for a meaningful volunteer.
posted by parmanparman at 12:21 PM on February 27, 2017

Maybe a nonprofit job center for ESL or people with disabilities to help people freshen up job applications, resumes, and cover letters?
posted by mochapickle at 12:22 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's a long-established tutoring program for Chicago public school children called Chicago Lights. Dunno if that would be a good fit but a staffer there might be a good resource.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:48 PM on February 27, 2017

Literacy Chicago, Chicago Cares, World Relief Chicago, and One Good Deed Chicago sound like they do some of the work you're interested in.

Groups focused on literacy would be a good starting point.
posted by xenization at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2017

The UN has a volunteer website with heaps of volunteer gigs posted -not for the UN but for various NGO's. Many are remote, they give estimates of the time commitment, and you have to apply... but they would certainly have some that suit your skill set. On my phone, memail me if you need a direct link.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:13 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Please check your MeMail for something I would love help with, in tutoring volunteer coders in the open source community whose poor written English gets in their way when they're applying for internships.
posted by brainwane at 3:25 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

World Relief, which someone linked above, would love somebody to help immigrants fill out paperwork. LOVE. The refugee status --> green card application is a beast.
posted by raspberrE at 4:30 PM on February 27, 2017

I've used Catchafire to find volunteer work that requires a creative and/or professional skill set.
posted by Katie8709 at 4:38 PM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

826 CHI is developing an editing cohort. Memail me for more info.
posted by princesspathos at 4:41 PM on February 27, 2017

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