This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.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The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.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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direct contact online volunteers:
online mentors, tutors, advisors and others
working with clients (including students)

This information was last updated on January 16, 2000

Direct contact online volunteers work directly with a client / recipient of your service. For example, a volunteer, via e-mail or a chat room, could:

  • electronically "visit" with someone who is home bound, in a hospital or a rest home

  • provide online mentoring and instruction via e-mail (helping students with homework questions, helping an adult learn a skill or find a job, or help prison inmates with studies or programs)

  • help with language instruction (help people learning English)

  • e-mail or chat room answer/support line, like a phone answer/support line, where people write their questions and volunteers answer them

  • advance "welcoming" of people about to enter the hospital, go to summer camp, etc. from volunteers, and post-service follow up of the same group

  • volunteers and/or clients working together online to create a project, such as writing about the news of their neighborhood, school, special interest group, etc. to post on a web site or use in printed material

  • distance learning: training volunteers in a subject via the Internet

  • support group members providing advice to each other via a chat room or private e-mail discussion group or newsgroup

  • volunteers who supervise any of the above activities via the Internet and provide guidance, or ask for staff guidance, as appropriate

Setting up this kind of "direct contact" component of a virtual volunteering program presents many special challenges. What are appropriate assignments for such volunteers? How will you screen these online volunteers? How will you evaluate these volunteers and supervise their interactions with clients? How will you protect confidentiality and prevent inappropriate interactions between online volunteers and clients?

To answer these questions, the Virtual Volunteering Project offers

  • initial first steps for those considering setting up a direct contact service component involving online volunteers, including online mentoring.

  • information on monitoring/supervising online interactions between volunteers and clients, screening and evaluating volunteers that will work with clients virtually, guidelines for bringing together youth and adult online volunteers, and other safety guidelines for direct contact volunteering.

  • an index of Resources for Volunteer Moderators and Facilitators of Online Discussion Groups. These resources -- some by the VV Project, many by other organizations -- can help both volunteers (including online mentors) and staff moderate (approve all posts) or facilitate (keeping the discussion flowing) online discussion groups, either via e-mail or via a chat/real-time platform.

 
Online Mentoring / Teletutoring

The Virtual Volunteering Project focused primarily on online mentoring in Y2K, and we developed these resources, based on first-hand experiences, collaborations and feedback from other organizations and programs:

 
Coming Soon

These and other online mentoring materials are in development by the National Mentoring Partnership, and be available via the NMP web site sometime in 2001:

 
If your organization already involves volunteers as online mentors or online advisors for any age group, we'd like to hear more about you, and consider your materials for inclusion on our site. Please provide us information about your program via our online survey.

 
Other Virtual Volunteering Resources
These files are updated frequently:

For Volunteer Managers

 
For Volunteers
 
Information for those who wish to
quote from, copy and/or distribute the information on this Web site

 
If you find this or any other Virtual Volunteering Project information helpful, or would like to add information based on your own experience, please contact us.

If you do use Virtual Volunteering Project materials in your own workshop or trainings, or republish materials in your own publications, please let us know, so that we can track how this information is disseminated.


 

Copyright © 1999 - 2000 The University of Texas at Austin
All Rights Reserved.


 
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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