Skip to main content
You are not a member of this wiki.
Pages and Files
about this wiki
book title ideas
Index of sites
Add "All Pages"
Definition of Virtual Volunteering
is a term describing a
who completes tasks, in whole or in part, off-site from the organization or person being assisted, using the Internet and a computer, tablet, smart phone or other Internet-connected device.
Virtual volunteering is also known as online volunteering, digital volunteering, e-volunteering and cyber service, and includes microvolunteering
, online mentoring, Internet-mediated service, and various other online activities undertaken by volunteers. Online volunteers can be referred to as
jedis - or even just as
. We avoid calling them
, as it implies they aren't real.
Virtual volunteering is similar to
, except that, instead of online employees who are paid, these are online volunteers who are not paid, and they are working to benefit a
organization, school, government program or other not-for-profit entity, as opposed to a for-profit business.
Virtual volunteering is similar to and can include crowdsourcing, where services, ideas, opinions or content for an organization or project are solicited from a large group of people online - a crowd - rather than through a traditional, onsite workforce. Members of this crowd may or may not have formal ties with the organization seeking the services, nor formal ties with each other.
There are a variety of other terms, in addition to the ones already named, that are used to talk about people doing work away from a work site, using networked technologies, as employees, consultants or volunteers, formally and informally, short-term or long-term. These terms and concepts can often be used for virtual volunteering, when the people doing the work are unpaid. All of these concepts may influence virtual volunteering practices. These terms include:
virtual volunteering (and variations such as virtual volunteers)
online volunteering (and variations such as online volunteers)
evolunteering (and variations such as e-volunteering, e-volunteers, etc.)
digital volunteers, digital volunteering
voluntarios en línea
voluntarios en red
e-mentoring (and variations such as online mentors, online mentoring, telementoring, etc.)
microvolunteering (and variations such as micro-volunteering, microvolunteers, etc.)
wisdom of the crowd
virtual community of practice
People who engage in virtual volunteering, in any form, are
, first and foremost. It's acceptable to call them online volunteers as well, but Susan and Jayne avoid the term
, because many have said to the authors that this term makes it sound like volunteers are not real, or puts online volunteers into a separate category from traditional volunteers.
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
has complete, detailed information on how to create and manage all kinds of online volunteers.
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
available for purchase as a paperback and an ebook
This wiki is a collaborative space for sharing resources regarding virtual volunteering. Jayne and Susan would like to maintain this wiki
in partnership with a nonprofit or university
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"