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Connecting Humans:

fan-based online groups use the internet
to make a difference

This information was published originally on July 5, 1999; some of the URLs are no longer functional. You can still find the information though -- simply type in the URL that isn't working into

If you are interested in fan-based volunteering beyond what is compiled here, check out Transformative Works and Cultures, an online journal launched in 2009 that looks at various aspects of fan fiction (fan-created fiction inspired by their favorite movies, TV shows and books), comic book fandom, movie fandom, video game fandom, comic and fan conventions, and more. Specifically, see The media festival volunteer: Connecting online and on-ground fan labor," a 2014 paper by Robert Moses Peaslee, Jessica El-Khoury, and Ashley Liles, which uses data gathered at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, in September 2012.

1999 text:

There are thousands of online communities for people who want to to share information and excitement about a particular television show, movie, sports team, celebrity, hobby or literary genre. And just as offline communities and groups will often "pass the hat" at their gatherings for a good cause, these Internet-based fan groups often come together online or in person to improve their communities, promote a cause or generate funds for a nonprofit organization. Often, these fans engage in philanthropy with no prompting from any charity or formal organization.

The following are examples of such groups, with comments from members about their online philanthropic activities and what makes them successful:

Other Online Fan Groups Using the Internet to Engage in Philanthropy
This information is taken from the organizations' Web sites.

If you know of any online fan-based group that has used the Internet to engage in philanthropy, or if you have a suggestion for an essay on the positive side of online culture, please contact us.

These resources were developed originally for The Virtual Volunteering Project and were written and compiled by Jayne Cravens, unless noted otherwise.

Return to my list of resources relating to online culture & communities of volunteers

Return to my volunteer-related resources

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