Studies and Research Regarding
Online Volunteering / Virtual Volunteering
There are lots of studies regarding volunteerism, but rarely within these studies are any questions asked about the Internet, to determine how volunteers are using the Internet to provide some or all of their service, or how organizations are using the Internet to support, train and/or engage with volunteers. And while there is a plethora of general articles, commentaries and information about online volunteering, there has been relatively little research published regarding the subject, even though the practice of online volunteering has been around for more than 30 years.

In an effort to encourage more research and to share what is available, as well as to show how various research has helped with the development of resources to support online volunteering, here are three lists:

Also see this list of resources relating to telecommuting and virtual teams.

In addition, if you are the author of a study, research project or evaluation report regarding using the Internet to support, train or involve volunteers, consider posting information to the Wikimedia entry for online volunteering / virtual volunteering.

If you are a university-based researcher and are in need of information regarding online volunteering / virtual volunteering, online activists, online civic engagement, online mentoring, microvolunteering, or crowd-sourcing, please the resources on this page, and then please contact me. I may want to include your resources on our list, and I will do all that I can to help you, free of charge, regarding your research (within reason). Please include complete details about your research project, and be prepared to provide confirmation from the university of your studies.

Are you a researcher wondering what angle you might take in a study about online volunteering / virtual volunteering, online activists, online civic engagement, online mentoring, microvolunteering, or crowd-sourcing? I have some suggestions. What's not needed or things like "Why do people volunteer online" or "Why do people want to be a microvolunteer"-- studying these topics isn't going to change anything for organizations expected or wanting to use the Internet to support and involve volunteers, IMO. What's needed, at least among organizations expected to involve online volunteers, is academic research exploring:

Most of the academic articles that have cited my work regarding virtual volunteering are listed at (here is my page on the site) and my Google Scholar account.

Return to my volunteer-related resources

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