1. Perhaps providing the information in languages other than English so that I can recruit, train and develop policies in Spanish with relevant and correct terminology (without having to start from scratch). Sending postcards to non-profits or posting in their newsletters.
2. As people become more accustomed to the flexibility that the web affords, they will begin to find ways to make more tasks do-able online. The challenge, again will be finding ways to keep people engaged with the agency and to feel that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.
3. I think a great many agencies are missing out on a fantastic opportunity by not figuring out ways to engage their volunteers 'virtually.' Many agencies will need to take that next step into the 21st century and establish websites, online newsletters and mailing lists for other purposes, and determine what activities they can offer online. I believe that volunteer service opportunites and participation will only increase as virtual volunteering becomes more commonplace.
4. I do think virtual volunteering will become more prevalent, with certain types of jobs most available. Research continues to be the most needed virtual volunteer job we have, but I expect translation will become more needed as well.
5. I think it'll be a great way for more disabled people (blind, deaf, wheelchair-bound) to volunteer, since virtual volunteering is less restrictive. I do think special, additional training will be required--at the very least, an orientation to the online cultural conventions in text-based conversations.
6. I think virtual volunteering is just beginning to offer a small portion of what is possible. As technology becomes more familiar and funding is cut in many fields, there will be more and more areas that virtual volunteers will be able help cover. I believe eventually professionals will be the largest portion of the volunteers. I foresee it becoming as common as going to lunch to donate some time online every day to help an organization that needs volunteers with technical expertise of some type. Perhaps, companies will even contract with certain non-profits to allow online time and/or computer use during non-working hours just like they now sign up employees to contribute to pre-selected charities or United Way.
7. I see VV'ing increasing dramiciallly world-wide. I think there will need to be more service, expertise to help with the demand. I know first-hand that VV'ing is a tremendous asset to our organization and to families all over the world.
8. Virtual volunteering in my mind will be project specific. Hopefully it will combine talents in different geographic regions to a common purpose. It should not be overused but specific technical tasks can more easily be overcome by bringing together a network of commonly interested people to the job at hand.
9. Jayne--you obviously know my answer to this! Virtual volunteering is going to grow as everyone becomes more comfortable and sophisticated in using the technology. It will lose some of its "new" appeal over time, of course. But once people realize they can tap just about any sort of expertise through cyberspace, I believe the idea will take off. I also predict creative uses for the emerging real-time video capacity of the Web.
10. I do believe that the future of virtual volunteering is expansion. I do think more agencies will engage in it as they join the movement into cyberspace. I don't really see any negatives. I guess that there could be a small group of volunteers who might want to shift their focus from in-person to virtual volunteering, but the agencies' challenge will be to accommodate them. In the meantime, I think that they will find themselves getting many *new* volunteers via cyberspace.
11. It will grow. I think the WEB is opening up for interactivity, so volunteering will include hosting chats or lectures. I think agencies will be able to better access government info or current events, that they skip over now.
12. I think many organizations have technology inertia challenges. I've contacted other organizations and discussed volunteering with them virtually, giving them the pros of having a volunteer offsite, yet available for researching, coding, etc, however they all feel it's necessary to have someone onsite even though
13. Virtual volunteering IS the future, or at least a bold part of it. It will become a required part of every volunteer program, even those that still need face-to-face interaction, since the principles being learned by VV go far beyond volunteer assignments that are solely performed via computer. Computers will become the primary communcation and contact device with many volunteers and the methodology for establishing this system is now being tested by VV.
14. My organization works with over 30 smaller non-profits across our state. Most of them do not have computers. As they do, their needs for assistance in this "new" area will evolve & increase. VV will be the ONLY reliable way to provide assistance in many of our rural programs. Seems to me [living in Oregon's only urban area!] that rural programs will be able to drastically increase the resources available to them by exploring the concept of VV/cyber service. Our programs focus on tutoring for non- and low-literate adults. While native speakers with no or low reading skills do not usually have computers in their homes, our English as a Second Language [ESL] students often do. This project has helped us think about [we're not ready to DO it yet, but we're getting there!] the potential to tutor ESL students on-line.
15. It will grow in importance, scope and variety.
16. I'd like to think it will grow. In my own program, I think the first place VV will expand is to offer people support, like a virtual support group.
17. Virtual volunteering has the potential to becomne the option of choice for many potential volunteers as they seek to retain the essence of volunteerism whilst making meaningful contributions to a society that is becoming increasingly global.