Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
as a paperback & an ebook
If you work with volunteers online, or
want to, this book for you. Susan Ellis and I
wrote this in-depth guidebook for anyone who believes in
mainstreaming use of the Internet in the recruitment, engagement
and support of ALL volunteers. It covers high-responsibility,
expert tasks, long-term commitments, micro tasks
(microvolunteering), risk management, and more. It
represents well more than a decade of research and experience.
Whether you are brand new to virtual volunteering or you are
already working with online volunteers, you will find this book
packed with helpful information.
I am available for short-term
consultations, long-term projects, part-time positions, and,
for the right role, a full-time permanent position. Here's
what I can do for your organization/initiative. I'm
available for interviews on Skype or your preferred video
conferencing tool, and, of course, by phone - I'm on West
Coast time (the same as Los Angeles). I'm available for
in-person, onsite interviews in and around Portland, Oregon
(the area where I live), and am willing to travel most
anywhere as part of a short-term consultation.
Blog, updated weekly (or more!), provides
commentary, invites discussion, and features announcements and
info about new resources. Your comments on any blog are
Latest Resource: Civil
Society Capacity Building: Why?
My favorite kind of professional work is building the
capacities of civil society organizations, especially in
transitional and developing countries, to communicate, to
change minds and to engage a variety of people and
communities, through communications, dialogue and
volunteering. But the term civil society isn't used in
USA as commonly as it is elsewhere, and many don’t understand
exactly what I mean when I talk about my favorite type of
work. This new resource explores exactly what is meant by the
phrase civil society capacity building.
April 2017 blogs
March 2017 blogs
January & February 2017 blogs
Tech4Good / ICT4D Initiatives, a list of the various
United Nations initiatives that have been launched since 2000 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. My
goal in creating this page is 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?).
Folklore, Rumors (or Rumours), Urban Myths & Organized
Misinformation Campaigns From Interfering with Development &
Aid/Relief Efforts & Government Initiatives
Folklore, rumors and urban myths / legends have interfered with
humanitarian aid activities and government initiatives, including
public health programs, even bringing such to a grinding halt.
They create ongoing misunderstandings and mistrust, prevent people
from seeking help, encourage people to engage in unhealthy and
even dangerous practices, and have even lead to mobs of people
attacking someone or others because of something they heard from a
friend of a friend of a friend. With social media like Twitter and
Facebook, as well as simple text messaging among cell phones,
spreading misinformation is easier than ever. Since 2004, I have
been gathering and sharing both examples
of this phenomena, and recommendations on preventing
folklore, rumors and urban myths from interfering with
development and aid/relief efforts and government initiatives.
I've updated this information with new information per the
organized misinformation campaigns targeting Ukraine and the
elections in the USA. Now, with fake news sites set up
specifically to mislead people, as well as crowdsourced efforts by
professional online provocateurs and automated troll bots pumping
out thousands of comments, countering misinformation efforts has
to be a priority for aid and development organizations, as well as
A history of the NetAid initiative, part of which became the UN's
Online Volunteering service.
November & December blogs 2016
top blogs of 2016
Along Immigrant & Refugee Journey
Rumors & Misinformation Campaigns Interfering with
Humanitarian Efforts & Government Initiatives
Facebook hurt the Syrian Revolution?
Years Ago: The Virtual Volunteering Project
did volunteers impact the 2016 USA Presidential election?
news, folklore & friendships
& NGOs: you MUST give people a way to donate online
Will Trump Presidency Affect Humanitarian Aid & Development?
National Summit on Volunteer Engagement Leadership
Do List the Day After the USA election
I still don’t like “International Volunteer Manager’s Day”
“participatory” & “consultation” are just words
toll in your workplace
Explaining How Websites Encourage Volunteering &
on cyberactivism by women in Iran & Azerbaijan
Truths About Volunteer Retention
& social cohesion in a post Brexit world
of frustration re: volunteering
Tech Volunteer Groups /
A list of tech volunteering initiatives, some defunct, some still
going strong, that recruit tech experts to volunteer their time
support either local nonprofit organizations or NGOs in developing
countries regarding computer hardware, software and Internet
Updated: PDX-area Organizations Involved in Overseas
Development / Aid / Relief & Volunteer Efforts Or Educating
People Re: Other Countries/Global Affairs
Some are nonprofits, some are university programs, and some are
for-profit companies / businesses. Some are focused exclusively on
aid and development, some are focused only partially on such.
There are more than 35 such organizations here, mostly in
Portland, but a few in other places in Oregon.
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 was getting ready to
leave the Virtual
Volunteering Project then, to work for the UN in Germany,
and was not able to document these pioneering efforts at the time.
I remembered this effort recently, per the current (and seemingly
never-ending) Presidential campaign in the USA, and went digging
to find the original materials from that campaign regarding this
work with online volunteers. He even had a
site for users of personal digital assistants (PDAs), the
precursor to the smart phone. ( Somewhere on the site is also a
mention of either online volunteering or virtual volunteering, but
I can't find it anymore...
University-Level Instruction - Course
I have lectured as a guest in several classes at various
universities, and I am very interested in creating and delivering
undergraduate and graduate-level courses as part of an MBA
program, a nonprofit management or public sector management
degree, a social work degree, a public health education degree, a
marketing or public relations degree, or international affairs,
among others. I've detailed my research,
university teaching experience, teaching philosophy and course
development interests here.
needs re: virtual volunteering
What would NGOs and nonprofits love to know about virtual
volunteering? What would be great, even ground-breaking research
regarding virtual volunteering? Here are some digital volunteering
research topics in dire need of exploration (and that really need
to be undertaken by people that are NOT me).
September & October 2016 blog entries
Lessons from onlinevolunteering.org
Some key learnings from directing the UN's Online Volunteering
service from February 2001 to February 2005, including support
materials for those using the service to host online volunteers.
Where to Find Online Volunteering
My work is focused mostly on nonprofits, government agencies and
other mission-based programs, but a lot of individuals that want
to volunteer contact me as well, often about where to find online
volunteering opportunities. I created this
page for anyone looking to quickly get into virtual volunteering,
whether it's a long-term, high-responsibility commitment or a