Carnegie Mellon University

Virtual Civic Engagement Opportunities

The Carnegie Mellon family is at our best when we see the needs in our community and compassionately respond with creativity and passion, when we step forward to ask “How can I help?,” and when we use our collective ingenuity and drive to address concerns in our backyard and around the world. Tartans want to take action in this time of uncertainty and we hope this ever-growing list of opportunities will function as a launch pad for graduate and undergraduate students, staff, faculty, alumni, and our families to do just that.

As you explore these opportunities we encourage you to consider:

  • What social issues or specific communities do I care deeply about or want to learn more about?
  • Am I looking for a one-time, short-term or long-term opportunity?
  • Are there time-zone differences that I should consider?
  • Does the organization require me to complete any training's or can I jump right in?
  • If the organization works with minors, I may be required to have clearances. (Please note, given stay-at-home orders, new clearances are not being processed in many locations.)

CMU Community Support

Food Insecurity Fund

Donate directly to CMU's Pantry via the Food Insecurity Fund. Your donations support members of the CMU community in need of essential food and household items.

Tartan Emergency Support Fund

Provide CMU with the resources to step in and help with individual undergraduate or graduate student needs during times of crisis.

Direct Service

United Nations Volunteers

Apply to join the United Nations Volunteer program. Choose from a wide-ranging list of activities in different fields for a longer term service opportunity.

Code for America

Do you have web site and software development, design, or writing skills? Volunteer with Code for America and contribute to civic technology projects across the country while working from home.

Amnesty Decoders

Join a global network of digital volunteers helping research and expose human rights violations. Use your computers or phones to help researchers sift through pictures, information and documents.

Book Share

Contribute your skills and passions to help people with print disabilities read. From scanning and proofreading, to describing images, to providing support for Bookshare® teachers and families. 

Cards for Hospitalized Kids

Partner with Cards for Hospitalized Kids to make and send cards with a generally uplifting message to kids currently in the hospital.

DIY History

Join a crowdsourced volunteer project from the University of Iowa’s Digital Library to transcribe digitized artifacts related to Iowa history.

Help with COVID

Database of new or established projects with a focus on helping with the COVID-19 crisis.

Literacy Pittsburgh

Teach adult reading, writing and math or English as a Second Language (ESL). No teaching experience necessary, you just need enthusiasm, patience and compassion.

Operation Gratitude

Partner with Operation Gratitude and Starbucks to write letters to veterans and frontline responders of COVID-19.

Oral History Project

Transcribe oral interviews with people who lived or worked in the Grand Canyon or the nearby region. The recorded interviews and transcriptions are archived in the Museum Collections at Grand Canyon National Park and made available online.

Charity Miles

A fitness app that allows you to choose a charity that corporate sponsors will donate to based on your physical activity. The more miles you move, the bigger a difference you cna make!

Color a Smile

Print, color, sign, and mail coloring pages to spread artwork and cheer to people in need of a smile. People of any age can volunteer to color and send their artwork to senior citizens, troops over seas, and others.

Donate Funds

World Health Organization

Donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to directly support the World Health Organization (WHO) as they lead and coordinate the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Humane Animal Rescue

Help provide food, supplies, and money for homeless pets and family pets in need, especially for pets whose families are impacted by COVID-19.

Animal Friends

Donate money or other items to help feed animals and allow the shelter to continue to support those in need.

Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar

Donate directly to your favorite bartender, server, stylist, aesthetician, or other service industry worker who is unable to work due to COVID-19.

Eden Farms Donation

Help victims and survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation receive emergency housing, toiletries, food, medication.

Pittsburgh COVID-19 LGBTQIA Emergency Relief Fund

Support members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are impoverished and in unstable housing situations.

Pittsburgh Stage Employee Bailout!

Support stage workers with families and crucial financial responsibilities and help them make it through this emergency. Money will go to those who work among Pittsburgh/PA area stage community.

Greater PGH Restaurant Workers Emergency Fund

Support a fund that will be distribute to restaurant workers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County who are unable to work and need financial support due to COVID-19

Amazon Smile

Set up your Amazon account so anytime you make an order, money is donated to organizations that you care about.

Hello Neighbor Refugee Assistance Fund

Donate to support Pittsburgh refugee families through Hello Neighbor. One hundred percent of the funds go directly to our immigrant neighbors.

JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry Emergency Campaign

Support the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry as they help families and individuals in their community who are struggling financially or with food insecurity.

Catholic Charities

Support Catholic Charities from the Diocese of Pittsburgh with financial and other donations or volunteer work as they continue their mission to serve those in need.