This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into archive.org.
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
The Project has gotten feedback from more than 150 online volunteers (people who have actually performed online service), ranging in age from 14 to 75. Most were between the ages of 18 and 50, with no large cluster of people anywhere within this range. Other agencies report that most of their online volunteers are in their 20s and 30s.
Several volunteers ages 14 to 17 have e-mailed the Project looking for online opportunities because agencies they wanted to help on-site had prohibitions against involving anyone under 18, or because they had no transportation to an on-site volunteer assignment.
The overwhelming majority, more than 60%, of online volunteers in contact with the Project identified themselves as Anglo or of European descent. The next largest group -- probably 10 percent -- identified as people of Asian or East Indian descent. Less than 25 people said they were black or Hispanic, and none identified as American Indian. The lack of ethnic diversity among online volunteers reflects the much cited technology gap in Internet access for ethnic minorities in the United States.
There seems to be an even split among the sexes when it comes to online volunteering.
Most online volunteers, as well as the agencies they serve, are in California, in or near the San Francisco or Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Other areas with seemingly large numbers of online volunteers are the greater Washington, D.C./Philadelphia metropolitan areas, New York City, the Boulder/Denver Colorado metropolitan areas, Florida, North Carolina and Texas. All of these areas have a higher number of Internet users per capita than the rest of the country. The large numbers in California could also be because Impact Online has a well-established notoriety in the state.
The vast majority of online volunteers have performed or are also performing volunteer service in on-site, face-to-face settings (a whopping 80% have experience as on-site volunteers). Most reported very positive experiences as on-site volunteers, and looked at online volunteering as another way to "help others" or "give back." Few reported wanting to volunteer online as a permanent alternative to traditional, face-to-face volunteering.
You can read more about who is volunteering virtually, and review the data we base our findings on, here on our Web site.
If you have other questions and cannot find the answers on this web site, please contact us.
If you find this or any other Virtual Volunteering Project information helpful, or would like to add information based on your own experience, please contact us.
If you do use Virtual Volunteering Project materials in your own workshop or trainings, or republish materials in your own publications, please let us know, so that we can track how this information is disseminated.
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