A free resource for nonprofit
organizations, NGOs, civil society organizations,
public sector organizations, and other mission-based agencies
Jayne Cravens, www.coyotecommunications.com
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. In 1998 or 1999, it 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.
Here's the original text from the
1995 version of the web site about why the organization was
founded. Note the mention of virtual volunteering - the first use of
the phrase anywhere online or off.
Here is the original text from the 1995 version of the site about the
complete history of the organization.
Here is a
list of the online volunteers that helped Impact Online (a list
maintained by the Virtual
Volunteering Project, an initiative launched by Impact Online)
Sadly, I don't have the home page downloaded anywhere.
Below are two graphics from the original site. All designs are by Mark
The archived version of the Impact Online web site, which we all had
access to via archive.org
but was removed by request of VolunteerMatch, said, "Using Internet
technology to facilitate and increase community involvement was the idea
behind Impact Online." Impact Online was founded by four MBA students: Steve
, Mark Benning
. As Glikbarg noted in that Impact Online history
(part of which I had downloaded many years ago - hence why I can quote
this), "Being well-trained MBA alumni, we diligently developed a business
plan, made financial statements three years into the future, extrapolated
the rapid growth of the Internet and explained how this new medium could
revolutionize community involvement. But we were early and few people
seemed to grasp the potential... charitable foundations assumed we were
looking to fund a technology project (something few do) instead of funding
a community outreach project (which many do fund)." Impact Online, and
, deserve a lot of credit for getting nonprofit
organizations in the USA online, particularly on the West Coast, both
through the web site and through the founders' many meetings with and
events for nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. They
also deserve credit for something else: in 1996, Impact Online secured
funding for what became The Virtual
If you want detailed information on how to work with online
volunteers, and how to fully integrate virtual volunteering in
to all of your community engagement, see:
for purchase as a paperback & an ebook
Completely revised and updated, & includes
lots more advice about microvolunteering!
Published January 2014.
- United Nations
Various United Nations offices have launched
initiatives to promote the use of computers, feature phones,
smart phones and various networked devices in development and
humanitarian activities, to promote digital literacy and
equitable access to the "information society," and to bridge the
digital divide. This web page is my effort to track UN Tech4Good
/ ICT4D programs, from the oldest through 2016. My goal is to
primarily to help researchers, as well as to remind current UN
initiatives that much work regarding ICT4D has been done by
various UN employees, consultants and volunteers for more than
15 years (and perhaps longer?).
- Studies and Research Regarding
Online Volunteering / Virtual Volunteering
While there is a plethora of articles and information about online
volunteering, there has been very little research published
regarding the subject. This is a compilation of publicly-available
research regarding online volunteering, and a list of suggested
possible angles for researching online volunteering. New
contributions to this page are welcomed, including regarding
online mentoring programs.
- Incorporating virtual
volunteering into a corporate employee volunteer program (a
resource for businesses / for-profit companies)
Virtual volunteering - volunteers providing service via a
computer, smart phone, tablet or other networked advice - presents
a great opportunity for companies to expand their employee
philanthropic offerings. Through virtual volunteering, some
employees will choose to help organizations online that they are
already helping onsite. Other employees who are unable to
volunteer onsite at a nonprofit or school will choose to volunteer
online because of the convenience.
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.
- Using Third Party Web Sites Like
VolunteerMatch to Recruit Volunteers
There are lots and lots of web sites out there to help your
organization recruit volunteers. You don't have to use them all,
but you do need to make sure you use them correctly in
order to get the maximum response to your posts.
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was created and is copyrighted 1996-2017
by Jayne Cravens, all rights reserved
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