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Become a Focus on the Family Digital Outreach Volunteer!

Become a Focus on the Family Digital Outreach Volunteer and bring hope and healing to the digital world: Anytime, Anywhere.

Watch this video, and learn more about the Digital Outreach Center and how volunteers are turning the internet into a digital mission field!

Hear From the Volunteers!

Get Involved!

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Understanding and enjoyment of social media
  • Willingness to share the Gospel
  • A minimum of 10 posts per week, approximately 2 to 4 hours

Volunteers who work offsite are recommended to have the following computer system options:

  • Own a MAC or PC computer or laptop; mobile devices do not work well
  • We strongly advise antivirus protection
  • High Speed Internet Access (preferably a 6MB/sec via cable or DSL)

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email [email protected].

  1. Complete your application online , Statement of Faith & Ministry Evaluation
  2. You will be scheduled for an informational interview via phone or Skype
  3. Complete a Social Media Assessment
  4. We will conduct a background & reference check
  5. Comprehensive self-paced training will begin

Thank you for your interest! If you have any questions or need assistance, please email [email protected].

1. Is my computer at risk when I am on these forums?
Since Focus does not control the content or structure of non-Focus websites, we can’t guarantee that your computer will not be exposed to risk when visiting them. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you install anti-virus software and use an ad blocker with your Internet browser.

2. Will we be establishing long term relationships with the people we are connecting with?
Not usually. Most of our conversations are brief, one-time interactions with the people we encounter online. Sometimes conversations can continue for a while, and occasionally we will check up on someone, but we typically do not establish ongoing relationships.

3. What variety of topics will we be engaging on?
The topics we engage on correspond with Focus’ key ministry areas: marriage, parenting, child advocacy, sanctity of life, and evangelism. We address the latter mainly by meeting people at their point of need or crisis and offering hope in Christ.

4. What if this person wants to connect with a support group/Church in their area? How can I help?
We typically do not offer church referrals; however, we do have referrals to certain organizations (e.g., Celebrate Recovery and GriefShare) that have local support groups.

5. What if the person I am connecting with wants to speak with me over the phone, is this allowed?
To protect your safety and privacy, we do not recommend making personal contact via e-mail, telephone, or your personal social media accounts with a person you’ve been reaching out to as a Digital Outreach Volunteer. Your ministry should take place only within the various forums you are posting on.

6. Do I need to have an antivirus or an ad blocker on my computer/laptop?
We strongly recommend that you use an antivirus program, to help prevent offensive ads and “sponsored content” from appearing on the web pages you visit. We don’t endorse specific products, but here is information on a free ad blocker: https://adblockplus.org/

7. What are the requirements for this project?

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Understanding and enjoyment of social media
  • Willingness to share the Gospel
  • Volunteers who work offsite are recommended to have the following computer system options:
    • Own a MAC or PC computer or laptop; mobile devices do not work well
    • Mentors will need a Yahoo or Gmail email account
    • We strongly advise antivirus protection
    • Windows XP, Windows 7/Vista or Mac OS X
    • 2 GB of memory
    • 1024X768 Screen resolution
    • High Speed Internet Access (preferably a 6MB/sec via cable or DSL)

8. What exactly is a Digital Outreach Volunteer?
A Digital Outreach Volunteer is someone who reaches out on behalf of Focus to hurting people on online advice forums, sharing Good News, encouragement and (where appropriate) Focus information that speaks to their situation.

9. What does a Digital Outreach Volunteer Do?
As a Digital Outreach Volunteer you will receive notification of online conversations where people are expressing personal or family needs. The Digital Outreach Mentor then joins the conversation, offering encouragement and practical information.

10. What programs do Digital Outreach Volunteers use?
Digital Outreach Volunteers need internet access and a Gmail or Yahoo email account. We use a live Word Document for our training and a web-based application called Social Studio for our Digital Outreach Volunteer work.

11. What is the time commitment?
The assigned posts take anywhere from 2-4 hours per week to complete.  This can be done at a time convenient for you.  We ask that volunteers commit to 6 months service.

12. Do you require a certain number of posts per week?
Yes, we encourage that you engage on 10 posts per week, however we understand that life can get busy, so we ask that you simply contact your Digital Outreach Captain if you cannot meet the suggested 10 engagements per week

13. Are they calling us or are we going out and finding them?
Typically, we are going out and searching for online conversations to join  through different forums. We’re able to speak to people who may never hear of Focus or may never have been exposed to a Christian perspective on their situation.

14. What is the training involved?
Digital Outreach Volunteers go through self-paced training that takes approximately 2 hours to complete. This is followed by an interactive technical training session, then a period of one-on-one coaching with their personal Digital Outreach Captain.

15. Is there someone to help me through this if I have trouble?
Absolutely! Focus staff are available to help provide insight, wording, and resource recommendations for various situations. We can also troubleshoot technical issues, as needed.

16. What if I come across a post that I am uncomfortable with or don’t know how to respond to?
You are never obligated to respond to a post that you are uncomfortable with. However, if you need direction or suggestions regarding a response, the Focus team is happy to help!

17. Can I do this from anywhere?
Yes!  As long as you have your own personal computer/laptop, and an internet connection, you can do this from anywhere around the world

18. Can I use my IPhone/cellphone for this project?
Our digital engagement software, Social Studio, has a mobile app; however, it is not optimal for this purpose. It is recommended that you get started with a desktop or laptop system before using the mobile app.

19. Can I refer other people to this project?
Please do! Be sure to let us know when you are planning on referring someone so that we can get you all the materials and information you need for your referral.

20. Can I post this project on my social media sites?
By all means, spread the word!

21. Will I be using my own name?
No. In most cases, you will be posting under a username that you have registered on the forum. We take your privacy very seriously and suggest that you protect your identity carefully.

22. Do we say that we are from Focus on the Family?
Typically, we are posting as members of the online community and do not mention directly that we are with Focus. If we mention Focus, we usually do so casually, as a friend who’s simply offering information.

23. Are these people that we are reaching out to Christian?
Most of the forums we’re involved with are secular, and most of the users are non-Christians. While we may disagree with many of the ideas that are presented in these spaces, it’s a great opportunity to share the gospel in a loving, personal manner.

24. Do I have to have a computer for this?
Yes. While there is a mobile app, it is best to use a computer or tablet.

25. Can I use my library computer for this project?
Yes. Because Social Studio is web-based and does not rely on an installed application, it can be used on any computer.

26. Can I receive internship credits for this?
We’ve had Digital Outreach Volunteers receive internship credits for this, though you should check with your professor or advisor about the requirements for your internship so that we are able to meet all of them. We will also contact your professor for approval, before you get started.

27. Can I receive signed off volunteer hours for this?
Yes!

28. How many Digital Outreach Volunteers do we have on board?
We currently have approximately 200 on board.

29. When did this project start?
We started this project on a limited basis in 2011 using Focus staff and in 2015 we expanded to include volunteers.

30. How many people have been reached through this project?
Since 2013, we’ve been engaged in over 650,00 conversation and have reached over 23 million people.

31. Does Focus offer resources that we can use to help others?
Yes, yes, yes! Focus has a wealth of information on our websites to help those who are struggling with personal or family needs. We also have counseling services, as well as referrals to non-Focus organizations that can provide help in various situations.

32. Will I have my own Captain throughout this project?
After the initial self-paced training, you will work with a coach who will review and provide feedback on your first several responses. Even after this phase, there will always be ongoing help available through our support team.

33. Do you monitor our responses to each person?
We regularly monitor our Digital Outreach Volunteer’s responses, both during the initial coaching phase and afterward. This helps ensure quality and adherence to Focus’ core values and response style.

34. Who can I contact when I have a question or need help with something?
During the application and training process, please contact [email protected].

35. May I mention my own ministry (or book or website) as part of this outreach?
No. While we occasionally mention approved non-Focus organizations and resources, you may not use this channel to promote your own website, books, ministry, or products.