Resources for AGENCIES
Resources for VOLUNTEERS
About the Virtual Volunteering Project
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These items were updated as of January 16, 2001:
These items were updated as of December 6, 2000:
- Using the Internet to Support Volunteers
The Internet offers great ways to support volunteers, particularly those that work away from a manager's direct supervision. This new resource by the VV Project can help you explore these various ways to manage volunteers, no matter where or how the volunteers provide service, and provides links to online materials created by various organizations to support their volunteers that you can use to create your own resource, or to point your own volunteers to.
- Our Own Online Volunteers
We practice what we preach! More than 300 online volunteers have helped the VV Project to date. See what more than 40 of these online volunteers accomplished for the Project in 2000.
These items were updated as of November 6, 2000:
- VV Project helps launch
Austin, Texas-based online mentoring initiative
With help from the Virtual Volunteering Project, Sanchez Elementary school in Austin, Texas has launched its own online mentoring program, with more than 30 online mentors exchanging e-mails each week with two fourth grade classes. Unlike many other online mentoring programs, volunteers in this project aren't just from one company; they are from across the U.S., and two are outside the country as well.
- Listing of Online Mentoring Programs Updated
The Virtual Volunteering Project hosts the most comprehensive listing of online mentoring (e-mentoring, e-mail mentoring, etc.) programs around the world, with a special focus on K-12 school-based programs that bring together adults and children online. This list grows each month as new programs are formed or brought to our attention. The list includes information on where the program is based, a brief description of the program, and a link to the program's web site or contact information for the program.
- Working with Web Volunteers
Many organizations want to use an online volunteer to initially build or maintain a web site. This is an excellent way to involve an online volunteer; however, before you involve such a person, there are several factors to consider to ensure that the person in this volunteer role will meet your expectations.
These items were updated as of October 2, 2000:
- VV Project helps launch
national online mentoring initiative
"Digital Heroes" is an online mentoring program serving youth involved in PowerUP, a nonprofit organization working to help America's underserved young people acquire the skills, experiences and resources they need to succeed in the digital age. The brand new Digital Heroes online mentoring program connects youth in PowerUP with employees of America Online (the primary sponsor of PowerUP) and with celebrity "notables" recruited by People Magazine. Online exchanges take place through a special password-protected web site created by America Online, and exchanges are supervised by PowerUP site managers. Much of the online training materials for mentors and managers in this program was written by the Virtual Volunteering Project, with additional materials supplied by the National Mentoring Partnership. The VV Project and NMP will use data from this program to help encourage online mentoring in other programs and organizations throughout the U.S., and the VV Project will share learnings and tips from the launch and management of this program via the online mentoring resources section of its web site.
- Use the Internet for Make a Difference Day, International Volunteering Day, and Other One Time Events!
We've provided an index of the many different ways volunteers can use the Internet on these important volunteerism-promotion days, or ANY one-day event of the year.
These items were updated as of September 4, 2000:
- Key Administrative and Management Tasks
for an Online Mentoring Program
A listing of all major administrative activities that must be completed BEFORE the launch a successful online mentoring program, from who is responsible for recruiting mentors to who will host the web site to who will stay in contact with parents and answer their questions about the program. Organizations can use this grid to make sure all tasks have been defined and are assigned.
- Online Mentoring Resources in Development
In addition to the many online mentoring resources already available on our web site, the VV Project, in collaboration with the National Mentoring Parntership, has a number of other resources in the works, and we've listed these "coming soon" items on our web site.
These items were updated as of July 31, 2000:
- "Dynamics of Online Culture" updated
Most communications with online volunteers is done via e-mail. Learning to communicate in text-only can be a challenge for volunteer and manager alike! Sometimes, you have to interpret people's communication and assist them to be clear and effective online. The VV Project provides advice on the variety of ways people write and interpret e-mail, and ways you can become more savvy at clearly communicating with others online. The page includes anecdotes from organizations involving online volunteers, links to other resources, and suggestions on how to expand your online culture experience by joining an online discussion group.
- Handbook for Online Volunteers updated
Online volunteers from all over the U.S., and many from outside the country, have recently updated this handbook with new information and resources. The handbook offers suggestions for using web search engines; shareware and freeware; collaborating across platforms (when everyone is using different software, hardware and operating systems); preventing computer viruses; learning .html; creating web sites that are accessible for people with disabilities; finding news articles on a particular subject; creating databases; moderating online discussion groups; and many, many other topics to help a volunteer undertake an online assignment successfully. Other agencies are welcomed to use this handbook as a resource for their own online volunteers, per our credit request.
- Message and Survey Archive
This archive, recently updated with new information, has been made available online for university-based researchers, VV Project Advisors, reporters, and others studying virtual volunteering -- who is doing it, what they are doing, who is benefitting, etc. It includes responses to surveys submitted by both volunteers and agencies about their virtual volunteering experiences, and completed applications to participate as a volunteer for the VV Project itself.
- VV Project Goes to Germany
Virtual Volunteering Project manager Jayne Cravens has been invited to take part in a meeting of various nonprofit professionals and online culture experts in Bonn, Germany later this month, sponsored by the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV).
These items were updated as of July 3, 2000:
- Virtual Volunteering in the News
An index of online news and print articles that have been published about the Virtual Volunteering Project, virtual volunteering in general, or have quoted a member of the VV Project team.
- Our Own Online Volunteers
We practice what we preach! More than 300 online volunteers have helped the VV Project to date. See what more than 30 of these online volunteers have done for the project so far in 2000.
These items were updated as of June 5, 2000:
- Telementoring: a View From the Facilitator's Screen
How does an online tutoring program really work? What characterizes successful online tutoring program? What role do classroom teachers play in the success of such programs? This is a must-read essay for anyone involved with an online mentoring or tutoring program, or anyone interested in starting such a program. By Laura Amill, a telementoring facilitator/researcher in the Electronic Emissary Project at the University of Texas at Austin.
These items were updated as of May 1, 2000:
These items were updated as of April 3, 2000:
- Activities for Online Mentors and Mentees
The Virtual Volunteering Project has identified more than 40 online activities for online mentors and mentees to do via e-mail and the web. This list was compiled with a focus on adult mentors assisting youth mentees, but the activities could certainly be adapted to youth mentoring youth and adults mentoring adults online.
- Safeplace in Cyberspace: How Austin, Texas netizens and
a nonprofit make a difference using the Internet
An essay by a communiations professional who volunteers her time for a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention center. This is more than a story of how the Internet helps people make a difference; it also is a powerful testimonial to how to effectively donate professional services, and how well a balance of face-to-face and online volunteering can work. This is the latest addition to Connecting Humans: Essays on the Positive Side of Online Culture, a section of the Project web site with information, essays and examples that illustrate how cyberspace is bringing us together, not closing us off to each other.
These items were updated as of March 8, 2000:
These items were updated as of March 6, 2000:
- Resources for Online Mentoring Programs
The VV Project now hosts a comprehensive index of more than 30 online mentoring/teletutoring programs and resources throughout the United States and Canada; an index of selected online materials we feel could be helpful to an organization exploring the idea of online mentoring or teletutoring; and suggested initial first steps for those considering setting up such a program. Helping organizations develop and manage successful online mentoring programs is the primary focus of the VV Project in Y2K.
- VV Project Logos for Your Web Site
Web masters are welcomed to use any of these logos
to create a graphic link on their web site to the VV
Project site. Organizations that reprint information from the VV Project site in an offline format (per our credit guidelines), or that refer to the VV Project in a printed document, can also receive a PICT version of our logo (both color and black and white are available).
These items were updated as of February 1, 2000:
- Working with online "volunteers" that are
part of a mandatory service program
Just as with a face-to-face volunteering program, an agency may get inquiries from people who need community service hours, either to meet a school requirement or because of a court order. This section is the latest addition to our Virtual Volunteering FAQs.
- Updated: Index of Online Resources For
Volunteer Managers & Service Leaders
We continue to add and revise one of the most popular areas on our site: our index of links to Internet resources that provide information on and tools for volunteer recruitment, management and recognition, program evaluation and service leadership, both on and offline. Also included are resources that promote volunteerism, sites with information and links to resources for service learning, information regarding mandatory service, and information to help volunteers already in service programs.
These items were updated as of January 3, 2000:
- Involving People with Disabilities
As Online Volunteers
Updated information and links to resources to help an agency recruit and work with people with disabilities as volunteers -- on or offline. This information includes examples from other organizations, testimonials from people with disabilities, and information on simple accommodations an agency can create to involve people as online volunteers who have learning disabilities or emotional and anxiety disorders (and this information also will help you address the various learning styles and working styles of all volunteers). Many of these materials have a focus on youth with disabilities in particular. The VV Project originally created these materials through the support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF)
- Updated Online Safety Resources
For organizations who want to involve online volunteers with clients, students, customers, the general public and other recipients of service, there's a lot to consider to ensure the safety and privacy of all participants. The VV Project continues to add to its growing list of information and links to other organizations to help agencies, including schools, explore the various ways to create safety, screening and tracking methods for such direct service online volunteer activities.
- Addition to Our Project Advisors
Ami Dar of Action Without Borders has joined the ranks of the VV Project Advisors who make suggestions for new Web materials and offer program, collaboration and outreach suggestions to the VV Project Manager. See our list of Project Advisors and more about them, as well as information on other Project collaborators.