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Myths about Online Volunteering

Myths about Online Volunteering

  • Are myths about online volunteering preventing your organization from tapping into this valuable resource? In her article Myths about Online Volunteering, Volunteers and Technology forum host and moderator Jayne Cravens addresses common misconceptions about online volunteering.

    Have any of these myths -- or other concerns -- kept your organization from using online volunteers? If you've been reluctant to try online volunteering, share your concerns here.
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  • The biggest surprises to me from this list were

    6. Online volunteers engage primarily in technology-related tasks.

    I don't know why I assumed that, but it was interesting to me to learn that there's numerous online volunteer tasks, such as translating a document, conducting online research, etc.

    11. Much more needs to be done to get people to volunteer online.

    Seems to me, it's good news that this is a myth--there's no shortage of willing volunteers. The question seems to be how to get organizations to harness the potential online volunteer pool as part of their overall strategy for volunteer recruitment and management. What are some ways organizations might start doing this?

    --Megan

    Megan Keane

    Follow me on Twitter: @penguinasana or connect with me on my website.

  • I am totally confused about this topic, can anyone tell me what is it about?



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  • To understand more about online volunteering, see the Virtual Volunteering Project. This site explains what Online volunteering is. The FAQs section might be of particular help.

  • "The question seems to be how to get organizations to harness the potential online volunteer pool as part of their overall strategy for volunteer recruitment and management. What are some ways organizations might start doing this?"

    Organizations that struggle with online volunteering also struggle with regular volunteer management/support. The biggest obstacle is lack of volunteer management, not technology. Organizations that are reluctant to involve online volunteers tend to lack agency-wide support for the involvement and support of volunteers and knowledge of volunteer management basics OR they have a volunteer manager who sees no reason to expand the traditional volunteer program beyond a very limited scope.

    It would be great if funders would start supporting volunteer management training and tools for nonprofit organizations. It would lead to so much more public involvement in nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, they see that as "administrative costs," and not worth funding.
  • Thanks, Jayne. The Virtual Volunteering Project is a very informative resource.

    I think you hit on an important point--funders also need to recognize the importance of volunteer management training. While it may not seem as appealing as funding certain projects, the effectiveness and organization of volunteers is a crucial part of the success of any project, so it's worth investing funds in the area of volunteer management training.

    --Megan

    Megan Keane

    Follow me on Twitter: @penguinasana or connect with me on my website.