A free resource for nonprofit organizations, NGOs, civil society organizations,
charities, schools, public sector agencies & other mission-based agencies
by Jayne Cravens
  via coyotecommunications.com & coyoteboard.com (same web site)



On Volunteerism
& Volunteer Management


This page on my web site is a portal to the various volunteerism and volunteer engagement resources I've created or to which I've contributed.

This section includes:
 
my resources about volunteer management and volunteerism:
 
 The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

available for purchase as a paperback & an ebook
from Energize, Inc.


Before you recruit any volunteers
Creating Assignments
Recruiting volunteers
Recruiting volunteers is NOT the first step in setting up a volunteer engagement scheme. It's NOT the first thing to be done to involve volunteers. In fact, I believe it is the LAST step, one you do after you have defined your mission statement for your volunteer engagement, created assignments, written policies and procedures, defined how you will evaluate your volunteer engagement at the six month and one-year mark, mapped how your volunteer in-take processes will work, and trained staff that will work with volunteers. 
Corporate-based employee volunteering to support nonprofits, NGOs, charities & schools
Support & Safety for Volunteers
International Volunteering Resources
  • Vetting Organizations in Other Countries
    One of the frequently asked questions I receive is: "how do I know if a mission-based organization in another country is 'for real'? I want to volunteer/donate to such, but first, I want to make sure it's a credible organization, that it's not some sort of scam, or an 'organization' of just one person." This list of suggestions is my answer.

  • Hosting International Volunteers
    More and more local organizations in developing countries are turning to local expertise, rather than international volunteers, to support their efforts. However, the need for international volunteers remains, and will for many, many years to come. This resource provides tips for local organization in a developing countries interested in gaining access to international volunteers.

  • Reality Check: Volunteering Abroad (especially for citizens of the USA)
    Times have changed drastically in the last 30 years regarding Americans and other "westerners" volunteering in other countries. The emphasis in local relief and development efforts is to empower local people, and to hire local people, whenever possible, to address their own issues, build their own capacities, and give them employment. This strategy is much more beneficial to local communities than to bring in an outside volunteer. That said -- the days of international volunteers are NOT numbered: there will always be a need for international volunteers, either to fill gaps in knowledge and service in a local situation, or because a more neutral observer/contributor is required. This new page provides tips on gaining the skills and experience that are critically needed to volunteer overseas.

Research & History Regarding Volunteering
  • Studies and Research Regarding Virtual Volunteering
    A compilation of research regarding virtual volunteering - the most comprehensive list you will find anywhere - and a list of suggested possible angles for researching online volunteering. New contributions to this page are welcomed - research can be about any aspect of engaging unpaid people online, even if it never mentions the term virtual volunteering, such as volunteers that contribute to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

  • Virtual Volunteering Wiki
    A compilation of resources regarding virtual volunteering, including a list of RSS feeds, a frequently updated list of news articles and blogs, and a history of virtual volunteering.
  • Virtual Volunteering in Europe 2013
    For much of this year, I researched and wrote about Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, online mentoring, etc.) in European Union (EU) countries. I've provide some analysis from that project that either aren't in the paper I've submitted, but I think they should be out in public for discussion, or, that are in the paper, but I wanted to highlight them in particular for discussion.

  • Initiatives opposed to some or all volunteering (unpaid work), and
    online and print articles about or addressing controversies regarding volunteers replacing paid staff

    This is a list of organizations and initiatives opposed to some kinds of volunteering (unpaid work), or ALL kinds of volunteering, including unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations / charities. It is also a list of online and print articles about or addressing controversies regarding volunteers replacing paid staff. Most of the links are to initiatives or actions in Europe or the USA. This list has been compiled to help researchers regarding volunteerism, as well as for policy makers and volunteerism advocates who want to avoid these kinds of controversies at nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This list is also compiled to refute those who believe that there are no such controversies (believe it or not, those people DO exist). Note that many of these initiatives are fueled by talk of the value of volunteers in terms of a monetary value per service hour, or talk of how volunteers "save money."

  • Tech Volunteer Groups / ICT4D Volunteers
    A list of tech volunteering initiatives, some defunct, some still going strong, that recruit tech experts to volunteer their time support either local nonprofit organizations or NGOs in developing countries regarding computer hardware, software and Internet tech-related tasks.
     
  • What Was NetAid?
    First there was Band Aid, then Live Aid, and Farm Aid, and then came NetAid, an initiative that was also launched with celebrity-laden concerts and a great deal of media coverage. The NetAid initiative was meant to harness the Internet to raise money and awareness for the Jubilee 2000 campaign, to raise awareness for the challenges in developing countries, and to allow people to volunteer online, donating their skills to help people in the developing world. NetAid's goal was to make global philanthropy more efficient. This page reviews who was involved, how the initiative evolved, and its legacy regarding virtual volunteering. 

  • Al Gore Campaign Pioneered Virtual Volunteering
    Back in 2000, when Al Gore ran for president, his campaign championed virtual volunteering by recruiting online volunteers to help online with his election efforts. I've tried to present some of what his campaign did - this pioneering effort deserves to be remembered, as do some of the lessons from such.

  • Impact Online: A History
    Impact Online was a nonprofit organization founded in the mid 1990s. It was one of the first web sites, and maybe the first web site, where nonprofits could post their volunteering opportunities and people that wanted to help could sign up to help. It later became VolunteerMatch. Unfortunately, someone requested that old versions of the Impact Online web site be removed from the Internet Wayback Machine, and so all archives of the original web site are gone. Luckily, I downloaded some of text and graphics from that original, pioneering web site. I'm sharing them here because the original Impact Online initiative deserves to be remembered and honored.

Commentary Regarding Volunteerism / Volunteer Engagement
I blog a lot about volunteer engagement on my blog. Here are just some of my blogs and web pages that offer opinions about volunteer engagement and trends in volunteerism.
 
volunteerism and volunteer-management resources I've created, or to which I've contributed, for other organizations, including the United Nations:

  • The Online Volunteering service (formerly at NetAid), allows organizations serving the developing world to recruit and involve online volunteers. In addition to the recruitment and management features on the site, the service also provides extensive information to help both organizations and individuals to get the most out of online volunteering.

  • The UNITeS, the United Nations Information Technology Service, an initiative launched by the UN Secretary General that promotes volunteerism as fundamental to information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). Two resources in particular were developed by me:
       
    • Using Instant Messaging to Work With Volunteers: Benefits and Suggestions
      The advantages of using Instant Messaging (IM) with volunteers, based on feedback from various online discussion groups, from the staff experiences of the United Nations Information Technology Service, and various other resources. Here is the archived version from November 2002, and here is the updated version.

    • Handheld computer technologies in community service/volunteering/advocacy
      Examples of volunteers/citizens/grass roots advocates using handheld computer / personal digital assistants (PDAs) or phone devices as part of community service / volunteering / advocacy, or examples that could be applied to volunteer settings. Also included is a section on Advocacy, and a listing of Online Software Directories for Handhelds.

    • Volunteers: Essential to ICT projects in developing countries
      Why the UNITeS initiative believed that volunteers are an essential and fundamental element to the success of information and communications technology (ICT) efforts in underdeveloped communities.

    • Assisting Others As An Expert Volunteer
      This article was part of the online Knowledge Base hosted by UNITeS. It is an example of the kinds of resources that were a part of the UNITeS Knowledge Base to help volunteers applying ICT in the developing world, and to help organizations who wanted to involve such volunteers.

    • UNITeS Contributions to the UNESCO Multimedia Training Kit
      The UNV staff managing the UNITeS initiative was invited to prepare a module on volunteers in telecentres and community media organizations for the UNESCO Multimedia Training Kit (MMTK). I lead the creation of the module, which includes a slide show presentation, exercises, case studies and trainer notes.

  • Tim Berners-Lee: World Wide Web is "creation of (online) volunteers"
    This is the text of a news release by the United Nations Volunteers programme, from 2001, when its online volunteering initiative was still a part of NetAid. In this press release, Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist credited for inventing the Web in 1989, says the World Wide Web is a collaborative venture and a "creation of volunteers". Sharon Capeling-Alakija, then Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV), referred to Mr. Berners-Lee as the "number one volunteer in cyberspace, because of the enormous gift he gave the world in the World Wide Web". In response to an email question from me, Mr. Berners-Lee said he was pleased to hear that people were volunteering from their homes to assist development efforts around the world. "It is music to my ears to hear that this is happening," he said.

  • Communicating with Volunteers: Making the Most of Your Options, practical tips on using various communications means, including the Internet, to engage and support volunteers. This module is featured in e-Volunteerism, a quarterly subscription-based online publication spearheaded by two internationally-known volunteerism consultants, Steve McCurley and Susan J. Ellis. e-Volunteerism caters to volunteer leaders/managers who want to go beyond the usual, basic volunteerism issues, and delve into more advanced, complex issues. This is part of an overall module I prepared for Everyone Ready , an extensive volunteer management staff development plan for national organizations by Energize, Inc.

  • The Virtual Volunteering Project, which, when I directed it from December 1996 to January 2001, encouraged and assisted agencies in the development and success of volunteer opportunities that can be completed via home or work computers and the Internet, and helped agencies use the Internet to manage all volunteers and connect with volunteer management resources. This included the most comprehensive information available, on or offline, regarding online mentoring programs and best practices.

  • Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program
    Jayne designed this program, designed the web site, and recruited, screened and trained the online volunteers who participated in this program to mentor two classes at Sanchez Elementary School in Austin, Texas, as part of the Virtual Volunteering Project. This web site, sans mentor and student information and interactive functionality, is provided to help others, particularly schools, to develop their own online mentoring programs.

  • AmeriCorps for Community Engagement and Education Program (ACEE)
    VISTA School Volunteer Management Handbook

    A resource guide from 1998 for VISTAs in charge of managing school-based volunteers for Sanchez Elementary School in Austin, Texas through the ACEE program, and a good model for managing school-based volunteers anywhere.

  • Community Engagement and Volunteerism Resources for Texas K-12 Schools
    Part of the Texas Education Network (TENET), this web portal is for school administrators, teachers, parent/family volunteers, and others who coordinate volunteer and community partnership activities between schools and other organizations, including businesses. It has become a nationally-recognized web site. To view the site, cut and paste http://www.serviceleader.org/old/schools/ into archive.org.

  • Part of the Texas Education Network (TENET), this web portal is for school administrators, teachers, parent/family volunteers, and others who coordinate volunteer and community partnership activities between schools and other organizations, including businesses. It has become a nationally-recognized web site. To view the site, cut and paste http://www.serviceleader.org/old/schools/ into archive.org.

  • Various comments made per volunteerism-related topics at Energize, Inc Hot Topic of the Month) and E-Volunteerism

     
    view my reviews of volunteerism books at:
     my volunteerism shelf

 
resources for volunteers:
(note that some these go to a different part of my web site that includes advertising)

  • Reality Check: Volunteering Abroad (especially for citizens of the USA)
    Times have changed drastically in the last 30 years regarding Americans and other "westerners" volunteering in other countries. The emphasis in local relief and development efforts is to empower local people, and to hire local people, whenever possible, to address their own issues, build their own capacities, and give them employment. This strategy is much more beneficial to local communities than to bring in an outside volunteer. That said -- the days of international volunteers are NOT numbered: there will always be a need for international volunteers, either to fill gaps in knowledge and service in a local situation, or because a more neutral observer/contributor is required. This new page provides tips on gaining the skills and experience that are critically needed to volunteer overseas.

  • Volunteering To Help After Major Disasters
    Whenever a disaster strikes, hundreds -- even thousands -- of citizens in the USA start contacting various organizations in an effort to try to volunteer onsite at the disaster site. But what many of these people don't realize is that spontaneous volunteers with no training and no affiliation can actually cause more problems than they alleviate in a disaster situation, particularly regarding disaster locations far from their home. If you want to be a part of the mobilization for a future disaster, here are tips to help you get into "the system," get training, and be in a position to make a real difference.

  • Ideas for Funding Your Volunteering Abroad Trip.

  • Where to find virtual volunteering opportunities, a list compiled because I get this question frequently.

  • Detailed information on Finding Community Service and Volunteering for Teens.

  • Detailed advice for volunteer groups / group volunteering.

  • Creating or Holding a Successful Fund Raising Event by volunteers.

  • Ideas for High-Impact Leadership Volunteering Tasks, including project ideas for the Girl Scouts Gold and Silver Awards, for


You can see my academic / research work, including that which is related to volunteerism, at my profile on academia.edu. Most of the academic articles that have cited my work regarding virtual volunteering are listed at my Google Scholar account 


Kofi Annan and Online Volunteering
(I made the UN Secretary General laugh)
A personal commentary about my encounter with Mr. Annan at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003.


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Permission is granted to copy, present and/or distribute a limited amount of material from my web site without charge if the information is kept intact and without alteration, and is credited to:

Jayne Cravens & Coyote Communications, www.coyotecommunications.com

Otherwise, please contact me for permission to reprint, present or distribute these materials (for instance, in a class or book or online event for which you intend to charge).

The art work and material on this site was created and is copyrighted 1996-2018
by Jayne Cravens, all rights reserved
(unless noted otherwise, or the art comes from a link to another web site).