This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into archive.org
.
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
 
 
 
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  volunteer activism via the internet

This information was last updated on June 5, 2000

Many organizations involve volunteer activists to promote their agencies and various causes, on and offline. However, before you mobilize online volunteer activists -- to send e-mails to individuals, companies or online discussion groups on behalf of your organization, to create a Web-based petition, and so forth -- plan strategically to make your efforts successful and positive.

First, make sure that your organization is ready to involve volunteers virtually and that your agency has set the internal groundwork for staff buy-in and quality control.

Your organization also needs to know what activities staff and volunteers can engage in legally regarding lobbying, advocacy, and other public policy activities. We recommend these resources:

  • Charity Lobbying in the Public Interest web site
    by the Independent Sector, this is an excellent place to learn why charity lobbying is important, easy and legal; how your organization can lobby effectively for public policy changes to benefit your mission; and how charities may inform voters and candidates for elected office about their missions effectively and legally. Also included is a step-by-step guide for following federal law governing charity lobbying.

  • Lobbying and Political Activity by Tax-Exempt Organizations
    by the The Online Compendium of Federal and State Regulations for U.S. Nonprofit Organizations. It is an excellent, detailed guide, and links to even more information from other sources.

  • Let America Speak
    a coalition project co-chaired by the Alliance for Justice, Independent Sector, and OMB Watch. This web site contains information and background about nonprofit advocacy and provides updates about legislation and other activities that could affect the advocacy rights of the nation's nonprofits.

  • Publications that resulted from OBM Watch's NonProfit America initiative. These can help agencies effectively use communications technologies to enhance and expand their engagement in public policy.

 
Rather than duplicate the excellent information already on the Web for organizations that want to involve online volunteer activists, we are providing the following links for use along with our suggestions for managing volunteers virtually. These Web sites include real-life examples, tips on how to mobilize online activists and cautionary tales regarding online activism:  
If you have a suggestion for another Web site that provides helpful, practical information for organizations interested in mobilizing volunteer activists via the Internet, please contact us. Include a description of the Web site and the direct URLs of pages you think others could find particularly helpful.

If you use this tip sheet to help your organization, please contact us and let us know!

You may also find these newsgroups helpful, both to learn how various organizations are using the Internet to promote activism on behalf of various causes, and also to use them yourself to post information (note that if you click on a group to which your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does not subscribe, you will get a "file not found" error; contact your ISP if you think it should provide access to a particular newsgroup; or, access the group via remarq.com or via dejanews.com):

On the other end of the spectrum, there's Free Republic, a group of popular web-based forums for the discussion of "independent, grass-roots conservatism." It is operated by several individuals and is not affiliated with any not-for-profit or other organization.

 


 
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This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into archive.org
.
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
 

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