News and Blog Posts about Virtual Volunteering Before 2013

(earliest article is 1996)

Recent news regarding virtual volunteering.

Also see this page of RSS feeds that automatically link to the latest web pages, blogs, and other online materials that use terms that relate to virtual volunteering. This is automatically-generated content; we do not control what shows up on these RSS feeds or what online materials get linked.

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Note that these are articles, as opposed to research and academic papers, which can be found here.

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Note that these are articles, as opposed to research and academic papers, which can be found here.

Articles (in reverse order):

There are, no doubt, many more articles between 1996 and 2013 on virtual volunteering - on using the Internet to engage and support volunteers - but such articles probably never use that particular phrase. I've tried to find as many as I can via Google News, and some from the 1990s I had archived

May 2011: Press Release: Virtual Volunteering - Google Earth's 3D Geo-Modeling Community Lends a Helping Hand. Great example of virtual volunteering.

June 2011 Facebook for Volunteers , by Chris Bernard in NTen Change Journal, available through IdealWare

10, September, 2010, CNN Online volunteers make an impact. "The Peace Corps pamphlets had just arrived, but the then-Miss Shaw had just met the man she knew she would marry. She put the paperwork away in a bottom drawer and happily became Tiffany Shaw-Diaz. But her dream persisted, and one day while surfing the web, she found the United Nation's Online Volunteering program. She signed up for an assignment that very day. 'It was so exciting. I wanted to connect with people on a global level and that stuck with me. It was so exhilarating to be able to work for the common good. I worked with people from China, India, all over the world. The solidarity was so authentic,' says Shaw-Diaz. Last year, the UNVolunteers program had about 9,000 online volunteers from around the world. It marked the first time the program's online volunteers outnumbered its on-site volunteers."

October 30, Mobile-volunteering puts thumbs to work for good causes2009 Mobile-volunteering puts thumbs to work for good causes. "Combining the strengths of mobile technology, non-profit organizations and crowdsourcing (i.e. calling on members of the public to complete small tasks as part of a bigger project, like Wikipedia), new mobile-phone applications are making volunteer work all the more accessible... many of the micro-volunteer 'missions' transpire as thinly disguised iReports rallied toward a particular cause in a community. And given the application's relatively unchecked crowdsourcing, accuracy, authenticity and effectiveness remain big question marks in this experimental equation."

2009, Blue Avocado, Can Nonprofit Boards Vote by Email? by Gene Takagi and Emily Nicole Chan

1 June 2008, The Guardian. Virtual volunteers, real results. A new army of "virtual volunteers" is helping charities reach out to young people to offer advice or persuade others to give their time in a more practical way. Volunteers give their services online in what one charity says is an exciting way forward for organisations that can struggle to find enough people with time to commit.

Oct-Dec 2007 issue of e-Volunteerism: Why Can't We Persuade Our Field to Interact Online? Keyboard Roundtable article

Nov. 2007 Civic Engagement and the Internet: Online Volunteers, Mary C. Joyce, posting to Internet & Democracy Blog. Note discussion of possible underutilization of willing online volunteers.

2007 Rewards and Benefits of Online Volunteering: Some Testimonials -- a YouTube video from Macdonald Youth Services, Canada

November 13, 2006 The New York Times : Flexible Hours, Using Your PC and Never Leaving Home, by Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell. "Online volunteering, long thought of as more superficial than on-site volunteering, has entered a new, smarter phase. While many online volunteering opportunities still focus on simple tasks requiring little time, more and more provide ways for volunteers, who are working flexible hours at home computers, to have a more direct and meaningful effect. At nonprofit groups, online volunteer management has grown more sophisticated after a decade of trial and error."

Aspectos Básicos en el Desarrollo de un Proyecto con Voluntariado Virtual: El Caso de UNV-Egypt y the Volunteer Network Egypt, Un artículo por Carlos E. Jiménez Gómez Coordinador voluntario online del proyecto Volunteer Network Egypt, January 2006

July 2005, How Online Volunteers helped UNV Kyrgyzstan, originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

March 2005, How Online Volunteers Helped Gwalior Childrens Hospital, based in both the UK and India, originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

Online Volunteers of the Year 2005, Ana Maria da F.M. Saravia (Brazil), Carlos Jiménez (Spain), Elizabeth and Tim Rose (Canada), Haingonirina Angie Ramaroson (Madagascar/USA), Jay Martin (Australia), Mohammad Ashaq Malik (India/Eritrea), Sandrine Cortet (France/USA), Sonia Ignatova (USA), Stephan Bren (USA), and Online Volunteer Team: Charles Forrester (Australia), Kashif Kamran (Pakistan), Priscilla Lynch (USA) and Taru Agarwal (India), originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

February 2004, How Online Volunteers Helped UNITeS, a story of how online volunteers recruited via the UN's Online Volunteering service helped the United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS). Originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

Online Volunteers of the Year 2004, Beatriz Iglesias (Spain), Biswajit Dash (India), Blandina Musvoto (Zimbabwean – then living in Denmark), Claire Suzanne Holland (USA), Flavia Trevisani (Italian – then living in the Netherlands), George Okello Gopal (Kenya), Ian Foster (Australia), Kalyani Suresh (India), Maria Yvette Reyes (Philippines – then living in Israel/Palestine) and Will R. Wallace (USA). Originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

December 2003 "Online Power for Volunteer Action" and "Capacity Building in the Digital Age through Volunteer Involvement," essays written by Susan Ellis for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Conference on Volunteering and ICTs

Online Volunteers of the Year 2003, Anne Catherine Yon (USA), Deborah D’Amico (Canada), Kelly (Xiaodong) Zeng (China/USA), Lela Rachman Talogo (Canada), Mark Wireman (USA), Miodrag Zivkovic (Serbia and Montenegro), Paul Fifen Chimy (Cameroon/France), Raj Gopal Prasad Kantamneni (USA) Stanley Tuvako (Kenya) and Yasemin Gunay (Turkey)

Online Volunteers of the Year 2002: Adedoyin Onasanya (Nigeria), Angelica Hasbun (Costa Rica), Cynthia Holland (Canada), Javier Wilson (Nicaragua), Joanne K. Morse (USA), Laurie Moy (USA), Natalya Korobeynyk (Ukraine), Paula Santos Vizcaino (Uruguay), Terry Rosenlund (USA) and Yvonne Swain (USA)

April 2001, How Online Volunteers Helped Tanzania Media and Youth Development Project, Tanzania, including a project focused on HIV/AIDS. Originally published by the UN's Online Volunteering service.

25 Nov 1999, The New York Times. Reaching Out for Help, or to Help, an article profiling organizations engaging online volunteers, featuring quotes from Jayne Cravens, then head of the Virtual Volunteering Project.

7 October 1999, The New York Times. Charity Concerts to Go on Internet, an article about the NetAid initiative and concerts, which were being launched the following week. The article doesn't use the term "virtual volunteering", but says "The system will permit groups and people with particular needs to register them in a Netaid database. It will also allow people who are willing to donate particular skills or materials to register them in the database." This part of the NetAid initiative became the UN's Online Volunteering Service a few years later, and this UN virtual volunteering initiative continues.

4 August 1999, San Francisco Gate: "Running Lame: Most presidential candidates stumble online." By Hal Plotkin. "Internet users aren’t e-people. They are people. They live in communities. And they have much more to offer a political campaign than just their checkbooks." The article reviews how various candidates for President at the time were using their Web sites to recruit and mobilize supporters, and how Al Gore and Bill Bradley campaigns seemed to be the only ones that understood the potential of the Internet to involve and support volunteers.

April 28, 1997, L A Times, "The Virtues of 'Virtual Volunteer' Efforts" An article by Gary Chapman about the "national summit" in Philadelphia on volunteerism, co-chaired by then President Clinton and former President Bush in 1997, as well as the launch of the Virtual Volunteering Project, directed by Jayne Cravens.

13 May 1996, The New York Times, Taking in the Sites; Now, It's Philanthropy Surfing on the Internet, an article about the proliferation of web sites that facilitate online giving or online volunteering in some way. Includes this: "One nonprofit group, Impact Online, was created to help charities use the Web. The group, in Palo Alto, Calif., uses its site to match what it calls 'virtual volunteers' with organizations that need them, and has begun a data base of group logos and missions." This might be the first use of the term virtual volunteers in a newspaper, but any article about Project Gutenberg in the 1990s would be about virtual volunteering, even if it doesn't use the term. For more information, see this history of virtual volunteering.

excerpt from NetActivism, O'Relly & Associate, Inc, 1996, pp. 17-18

Is the 1996 article the oldest article about virtual volunteering? Probably not. If there is an article about the volunteers that helped with Project Gutenberg prior to 1996, it's likely it never used the phrase virtual volunteering, but that is what it would be referring to.

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