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Internet, Online Community, Virtual Volunteering, Social Media

Books on this topic

Also see articles on "Micro-volunteering"

Articles and book excerpts on this subject

Special:  A free copy of the Keyboard Roundtable article that was published in the Oct-Dec 2007 issue of e-Volunteerism:  Why Can't We Persuade Our Field to Interact Online?

Free electronic books on this subject

Bridging the Digital Divide - Connecting Volunteers
Short handbook developed for volunteers in Brazilian charities in Sao Paulo providing basic, practical information for making the most of e-mail and the Internet in their service.  Available in English and Portugese versions.

Inspiring Volunteers:  A Guide to Recruitment and Communications, from MediaTrust and i-volunteer (UK), emphasizing social media (2010, 76 pg.PDF)

The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook (pdf file): How to Apply the Principles of Real-World Volunteer Management to Online Service by Susan J. Ellis and Jayne Cravens. Comprehensive look at how to develop and manage an online volunteer program.

Available in Spanish (la traducción de la Guía de Voluntariado Virtual de Susan Ellis y Jayne Cravens) at:

Impact of Information and Communications Technology on Volunteer Management
Study by Vic Murray and Yvonne Harrison of the University of Victoria, for the Canadian Centre on Philanthropy, 2002 (free PDF).

Volunteering in the Information Society
Report by Manuel Acevedo on worldwide involvement of volunteers in information and communications technology (ICT), especially related to human development. (October 2005)

Working with Technical Volunteers: A Manual for NPOs
TechSoup Global handbook for recruiting, matching and managing technical volunteers, particular for assignments in Web design. The 60-page handbook is available as both a Microsoft Word document and as a PDF.  Rev. 2009.

Youth as E-Citizens Report
Report by American University's Center for Social Media (155-pages, 2004) about how an online youth civic culture, largely unnoticed by the general public, has taken root on the Internet and is fostering Generation Y's participation in U.S. politics and community affairs.

Web sites with useful information on this subject

ammado connects nonprofits, socially responsible companies and engaged individuals in an interactive and unique environment, harnessing the power of the Internet to accelerate communication, awareness and fundraising. It started in 2007 and is available in 12 languages.

A social network site that makes "it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most."  Example of a thriving online community (over 10 million members).


Provides instant-access video training guides and courses to help nonprofits
to utilize the Internet in easy, and often free, ways to engage their constituency, communicate their mission, and develop relationships that ultimately help to acquire and maintain donors.

Convio Connection
Sample articles from free bimonthly newsletter for nonprofits on how to attract constituents, drive action, and build loyalty through online relationship management.

Coyote Communications Technology Tip Sheets
Jayne Cravens, the guru of virtual volunteering, has been maintaining this personal Web site since 1996 amd offers a wealth of tips sheets on all sorts of Internet-related subjects for nonprofits in general and volunteer program managers in particular.  Always on the cutting-edge of technology, Jayne has provided a wonderfully welcoming and informative podcast, talking about how podcasts can be used by nonprofits, and just how easy it is to do.

ePhilanthropy Foundation
Educational organization helping nonprofits to use best Internet practices in online fundraising and communication, and to foster the effective and safe use of the Internet for philanthropic purposes.  (Acquired by Network for Good in July 2008)

Handheld Technologies and Volunteering
Information compiled by the United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS) on how PDAs or handheld computer technologies are used around the world in community service/volunteering/advocacy.

NetAction / The Virtual Activist
Site dedicated to helping activists use Internet technology.  Includes an archive of articles from 1996-2003 and a self-guided training course on "Using the Internet for Outreach and Organizing," available in English and Spanish at:

An initiative of TechSoup Global, this site wants "to jumpstart the leading edge of online technological change -- and to help nonprofits use that edge to change the world!" Explains the new generation of online tools available that make it easier than ever before to collaborate, share information and mobilize support.

Network for Good – Social Networking Learning Area
Articles, updated tips, and case studies on how to use blogs, social networking sites, and other online tools to raise and communicate with supporters.

Download excellent free reports on noprofits and technology from this UK consulting and rersearch firm.

Nonprofit Commons Project
Managed by TechSoup Global, this a virtual community of practice for nonprofits to explore the opportunities and benefits of Second Life. You do not have to have an office in the Nonprofit Commons to get involved! This site provides documentation and other helpful information not only for NP Commons tenants, but for any nonprofit that is interested in learning about Second Life.

Online Community Toolkit
Although not written for volunteer managers, provides a wide range of materials on fostering "online community." A nice tool for fostering volunteer community.

Online Volunteering (OV)
A free service provided by the United Nations Volunteers programme that connects development organizations with online volunteers. The site contains many tips about online volunteering, both for volunteers and host organizations.
A site devoted to "public strategies for the online world," this link takes you an archive of articles about e-citizenship.  Also see archive of postings to --"Democracies Online":

Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program
This resource was developed by Jayne Cravens for Sanchez Elementary School in Austin, Texas through the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. This online mentoring program is no longer operational but these Web materials have been preserved to help other schools develop their own online mentoring programs.
Any one person is connected to any other person through six or fewer relationships, because it's a small world. (founded by Kevin Bacon and Network for Good) is about using this idea to accomplish something good (social networking with a social conscience). Support favorite charities by donating or creating fundraising “badges” — as well as check out the favorite causes of other people, including celebrities.

The Social Animal
Practical social media and Web 2.0 advice for animal welfare advocates, but applicable to all and with many volunteer-related tips.

Social Citizens Blog - Glossary 2.0
Site utilizing the most innovative online technology for "social citizenship" offers this page defining blogs, wikis, and other tools (includes videos).

Technology Resource Center
This area of the Corporation for National and Community Service's Resource Center provides articles and tip sheets to help service programs use technology effectively. Learning Center
The "technology place for nonprofits" -- an overall great site. The Using the Internet page of the learning center has articles that discuss email, Web 2.0 and social netowrking tools.

Urban Survival Project
The project's goal is to create a virtual volunteering website that is accessed through social networks like Facebook to bolster the support system for inner-city kids by solving the problems of commitment, localization and physicality that act as barriers to volunteering.  Centered on a blog.

Virtual Volunteering Project Archive
The Service Leader Web site was revised in 2003 and older information--particularly about online mentoring-- was removed.  Energize has received permission to archive these pages here.

Virtual Volunteering Resources from Service Leader

Volunteerism and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Library
Extensive collection of original papers written for the for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Conference on Volunteering and ICTs, December 2003.

A variety of articles on how to conduct online surveys and gain more participation from respondents.

Relevant Hot Topic essays


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