32 agencies (more than 30%) responded to this survey.
This summary information is currently being compiled from the answers to our survey for agencies. This data will available here by March 1999. This summary will provide answers to these questions:
4 North Carolina
3 New York
1 New Jersey
1 New Mexico
1 South Carolina
6 did not respond
San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley
"Triangle" of North Carollina
New York City-area
17 local (city, county, small region)
6 state or large region (more than four counties)
2 international (they serve constinuencies outside the agency's country of origin)
5 did not answer
8 executive director
3 volunteer manager/director/coordinator
3 program manager/director/coordinator
1 communications manager/director/coordinator
12 -- other categories
28 worked with volunteers in some capacity
2/3 of those responded did more than just recruit volunteers (they also coordinated, directed or managed volunteer activities directly)
12 organizations or 37 % 1 - 5
6 organizations or 19 % 6 - 10
7 organizations or 22 % 11 or more
The rest did not respond or did not receive any responses. Also, again, note that many of these organizations mistakenly thought the question was about responses they had gotten because of ANY posting to VolunteerMatch, not just the responses to virtual opportunities.
22 organizations or 69 % asked volunteers via email for more information or provided more information about the position via email
4 organizations or 12 % asked volunteers to meet with the agency via phone
1 organization asked a volunteer to complete an application (send via snail mail)
2 organizations provided no next steps and did not followup with the potential volunteers
4 organizations did not respond to the question
3 organizations gave responses unrelated to the question
NONE provided an online orientation
NONE had volunteer applications online
12 organizations or 37 %
5 organizations involved volunteers in Web design and maintenance
2 organizations involved volunteers in research
1 organizations involved volunteers in database maintenance
1 organizations involved volunteers writing articles for a newsletter
2 organizations involved volunteers as graphic designers
1 organizations involved volunteers as hosts for chatrooms
1 organizations involved volunteers as tech support 1 organizations involved volunteers as penpals
2 organizations said the lack of time to respond to the person
2 organizations said the potential volunteer(s) email address(es) were no longer valid
3 organizations said they were not actually prepared to involve online volunteers
6 organizations said the volunteer did not respond to the organization's followup email, or just quit responding altogether
3 organizations said the volunteers were not appropriate or were not prepared
3 organizations said they have not finished processing applicants
3 organizations said they had to turn down volunteers once all positions were filled
2 organizations said the lack of getting any response from potential volunteers
1 organization said there were no obstacles
10 organizations had no response
12 organizations had no screening or orientation for online volunteers
7 organizations had email exchanges/interviews with potential online volunteers
2 organizations had a phone interview with potential online volunteers
2 organizations had in-person interview potential online volunteers
1 organizations did reference checks on potential online volunteers
11 organizations had no response
6 organizations had not recognized volunteers or had no supervision systems in place
6 organizations said they told the volunteers thank you, either by email, phone, or another way not specified
3 organizations said they cited online volunteers in their organizations newsletters
2 organizations said their supervising system was to see if the volunteer completed the work
2 organizations regularly checked in with volunteers to see how it was going
2 organizations said they thank online volunteers the same way they do onsite volunteers (luncheon invitations, certificates, etc.)
15 organizations had no response
"having written task descriptions, having a volunteer manager, getting staff buy-in, etc. give choice to the volunteers"
"clarity and simplicity of the task. Written, clear position description, clearly communicated process - how this is going to work! -- all these seem to be helping. I have staff support. I also have Volunteer Managers who are interested, experienced and willing sounding boards to get input from."
" ultimatly was because our executive director felt it was important for us to stay more informed"
"Have doable tasks for a good cause"
"Very clear descriptoins of the work... very easy data entry program"
"Having a volunteer manager"
"The ListBot free list, and my email supervision"
"It helps that our organization is itself virtual -- everyone has e-mail and uses it as a primary form of communication."
4 organizations said the lack of time on the part of the supervisor
3 organizations said the reluctance or difficulty to work with unseen volunteers via email
3 lack of pre-planning
3 difficulty identifying appropriate volunteer assignments
3 lack of response from potential volunteers
2 lack of a formal application process
Other responses -- "funding," "lack of knowledge regarding the types of organizations etc. that would be interested, the types of paperwork involved, inviting format for volunteer request letters, etc.," "lack of experience working with online volunteers" and "it's difficult to know whether someone hasn't written you back because they're no longer interested or because they're unavailable."
4 organizations said they weren't sure yet
5 organizations said all of the above or "everything"
2 organizations said identifying assignments
2 said evaluation of volunteers or keeping track of what they are doing/have done
1 organizations said recognition
1 organization said screening
1 organization said volunteer management
5 organizations said they need no assistance
7 organizations had no response
Other than the many "this is a great service" or "thanks for doing this" comments:
"I have gotten lot's of responses to Volunteer Match in general, but very few from on-line, virtual volunteers. I do wonder what kind of promotion Impact Online gives to this endeavor. Thanks."
"Please know that we are just on the cusp of the potential of this thing called virtual volunteering. We are in the unique position of doing our best volunteer management without knowing the people in any context that we are familiar with! EVERY old concept is being redefined through the internet - screening, interviewing, task definition, orientation, evaluation, recognition, etc. And all of these redefinitions have to work within the confines of our present resources - time, money, responsibility. Then there is the issue of satisfying our constituents who support our center and support volunteerism in our area! Virtual volunteering has forced redefinition on how we define community. Indeed, it has released us from a geographical definition in many ways. We are fulfilling community needs by linking volunteers. Does it matter if those volunteers live in other parts of our country? Maybe it will to our financial supporters... Certainly this stretches United Way definitions of impacts and service delivery. This will have a significant impact on how we keep service data.... number of volunteers, numbers of people served...We have such enthusiasm and presently are soliciting volunteer opportunities from all of our partner agencies for wonderful virtual volunteering tasks. But we have to have a foundation in place too. We have to attend to our management issues. This could strain volunteer managers if too much was tackled too quickly. It will be very interesting how planning is altered to make way for virtual volunteer management in job descriptions. So many unknowns.... Any and all assistance in the development or prototype of any aspect of this would be gratefully received. I welcome future communications with you."
"After they responded I emailed or called them back to discuss work assignments. The volunteers neither came in for an interview, nor responded back again to committ to the assignment. In my experience these volunteers have been very flalky and when push comes to shove they donot want to do any work."
"I will continue to pay more attention to the volunteers that are emailing me. I'm glad to hear from you and that you are working on this project."
"We are just getting started with this so we still have a lot to learn!"
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