Readings in Virtual Volunteerism

Since only about a fourth of the U.S. volunteers, this writer posits that we’ve tapped out the market until we get a little more creative. There’s definitely a need with virtual volunteers to the ‘chunk it up’ theory of dividing volunteer tasks into tiny bits for our busy world.

While it’s still of the utmost importance to ASK volunteers to contribute, it’s also important to get a little creative with what volunteers are asked to do. Maybe you can’t sit with a kid and tutor them, but could you send them a word of the day via Twitter? SURE! But all of this creativity takes time, granted.

The original blog post was shared recently on ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action)’s discussion forum and created quite the outpouring. Ultimately, it will take time (and as was underscored in the discussion, new management structures and effective volunteer support) to reframe volunteer positions into smaller pieces. Human nature (until we’re implanted with chips) will still drive some to seek responsibility and others recognition, so it’s important that even virtual volunteerism connects like-minded groups and provides a ladder of opportunities. Well-known volunteer management guru Jayne Cravens added in that this ‘new’ form of volunteerism isn’t new at all.


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