Junior Achievement & Virtual Volunteering

Just found out about Taking It Digital: New Opportunities for Volunteer Service, a report published by Junior Achievement and the Citi Foundation. It reports on JA’s Digital Volunteer Strategy Initiative in the USA, launched in April 2014 and which develops online educational assets and digital delivery tools for JA’s high school JA Personal Finance® course.

“This report is based on the best practice literature in online volunteering, volunteer management, and online education; a review of a beta set of online project tools; and interviews with JA volunteer managers involved in a recent pilot of the Initiative (Phase II of a two-phase pilot project). The study purpose is to identify issues organizations should consider in taking their volunteer/service programs into the digital realm.”

In the JA’s program, volunteers teach a five-unit course to students in diverse school settings using both on-site and off-site components: after an initial face-to-face visit to the classroom to introduce the course, the volunteer remotely leads several sessions of online lessons, which requires onsite facilitation by the classroom teacher.

I’m thrilled to know that my book, The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, was used as a resource for this report and its recommendations – and to see so many names of well-known researchers and practitioners regarding virtual volunteering, many of them my colleagues, cited in the detailed report.

This JA digital initiative / virtual volunteering effort is in addition to the Enterprise Without Border E-Mentoring tool, created and is managed by Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Europe (JA-YE Europe). It’s for volunteers from the business sector, teachers and student companies participating in the EwB program and enables its members to create discussion groups, discuss and work on particular projects and topics, and provides information about upcoming on-line webinars, EwB cafés, presentations and enables access to all study materials connected with EwB activities.

Congrats to Junior Achievement for both your initiatives and for being so open in sharing your information, and to Citi Foundation, which joins: Fundacja Orange (the Polish branch) in funding virtual volunteering-related initiatives. Sadly, they seem to be the only two companies currently supporting such innovation with cash.

Also see:

Hey, corporations: time to put your money where your mouth is re: nonprofits & innovation

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