On our website we wrote about: what e-volunteering is, what are the rules for its operation and even what you cannot call e-volunteering. Briefly speaking, e-volunteering is different from traditional volunteering only in formal terms: E-volunteers use primarily online tools in their work (e-mail, online calendars, tools for document sharing, social networking, etc.) and use them to communicate with each other, with the organizers and the target group. Relationships established through the network are just as strong and reliable as those that arise in the real world. Similar challenges need to be faced by volunteer coordinators as well.
Are all the e-volunteers programmers?
Definitely not! Of course, to be e-volunteer basic skills in using of the computers and the Internet are essential. But yet, to do the vast majority of e-volunteering tasks handling Web Browsers and e-mail accounts is sufficient. Many of the tasks for virtual volunteers requires specialized knowledge or skills, but those are not always computer skills. E-volunteering can be art, logo designed for your organization, or a lawyer providing free advice online.
The Internet affects our lives every day. Hardly any can spend a day without checking their mails or favourite social websites. One can find e-shopping, e-dating and e-books already. E-volunteering guarantees the future of the voluntary sector, which is why it is worth taking to it today.
“Yeah but I still don’t get the idea of this e-volunteering.” Everyone new to the e-volunteering feels the same about the project of virtual volunteering since we had started working on it. Remembering that, we made a great effort to create as clear definition of it as possible:
E-volunteering – voluntary tasks or work carried out either as a whole or partially via Internet on a computer accessible at home or elsewhere one has access to the Web. Although the work is done in the virtual reality, its results are notable to the real world.