What is virtual volunteering?

Virtual VolunteeringVirtual volunteering means volunteer tasks completed, in whole or in part, via the Internet and a home or work computer. It\'s also known as online volunteering, cyber service, online mentoring, teletutoring and various other names.

Virtual volunteering allows agencies to expand the benefits of their volunteer programs, by allowing for more volunteers to participate, and by utilizing volunteers in new areas. Many people actively search for volunteer opportunities they can complete via home or work computers, because of time constraints, personal preference, a disability or a home-based obligation that prevents them from volunteering on-site. Virtual volunteering allows anyone to contribute time and expertise to not-for-profit organisations, schools, government offices and other agencies that utilize volunteer services, from his or her home or office.

Virtual Volunteering encourages and assists in the development and success of volunteer activities that can be completed via the Internet, and help volunteer managers use cyberspace to work with ALL volunteers. The Project builds the capacity of both agencies and volunteers, to make online service possible. Successful virtual volunteering takes much more than a database of online service opportunities -- the Virtual Volunteering Project provides the critical information and background to help both organisations and volunteers engage in effective, meaningful, mission-based online service. Why Virtual Volunteering?

Many people actively search for volunteer opportunities they can complete via home or work computers, because of time constraints, personal preference, a disability or a home-based obligation that prevents them from volunteering onsite. Virtual volunteering allows anyone with Internet access to contribute time and expertise to nonprofit organisations, schools, government offices and other agencies that utilize volunteer services. Virtual volunteering also allows agencies to expand the benefits of their volunteer programs, by allowing for more volunteers to participate, and by utilizing volunteers in new areas. This type of volunteering helps agencies to further cultivate community support and to augment staff resources and existing volunteer program benefits. Not-for-profit and public sector organisations involve volunteers to give the community first-hand experience with the successes and impact of the agency\'s programs, to tap into diverse audiences and ideas, and to extend staff resources.

Virtual volunteering is a way to extend the benefits of involving volunteers, and a way to help organisations meet the increasing challenges of the future, while also allowing them to reap tangible benefits from emerging technologies. Successful virtual volunteering takes much more than a database of online service opportunities - the Virtual Volunteering Project provides the critical information and background to help both organisations and volunteers engage in effective, meaningful, mission-based online service.