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.
Access to the Internet is not a luxury anymore. Anyone can connect to it almost anywhere they live. This gives the e-volunteers the opportunity of involving themselves in interesting projects, regardless their place of living. The traditional volunteering is very often restrained by space. Due to high costs of travelling, many volunteers find the participation in many events very difficult. Using the Internet, any volunteer interested in ecology, the fate of national minorities or literature can involve himself into projects of a given branch even if there is no local organization dealing with a given topic. What are the benefits for such an organization? Most of all the possibility of collaboration with the enthusiasts both from Poland and the whole world and broadening the circle of fans farer than the closest neighbourhood.
Plenty things can be done for free thanks to the Internet. For example, one can start co-operation with another volunteer-specialist living on the other end of Poland. In such cases using the Web allows to save both time and money. Free tools available in the Web such as software used to send newsletters, documents co-edition or running group calendars make communication and organising the volunteers’ work much easier.
The Internet is also a priceless tool to promote our activities. Additionally, the virtual collaboration with the volunteer is a great solution for those organization which cannot afford creating extra working place. In this way, the unique skills of any volunteer are used for good of other people. E-volunteering is a chance to stop considering the volunteers jerks and naive folks who have to offer nothing but free time.
As an e-volunteer we can offer all the exceptional and unique about us: experience in writing motions can be used for raising funds, graphic skills to create logotypes and lots of friends on social websites to make a planned campaign loud.
Victory over constant lack of time
Although the specialists emphasize that the virtual volunteering needs less time than the traditional one, e-volunteering can be a good idea to convince other people to work for those people whose constant excuse is incurable lack of time. The recently developing in Europe and the US idea of “microtasks” relies on dividing the volunteer tasks into smaller parts which can be done in a short time, for instance during a job break. This shows that sometimes we need only fifteen minutes to do something good.
Combat with (not only) digital exclusion
Everyone can become an e-volunteer. What we need is, certainly, Internet access. Apart from this there are no constraints. No matter how old you are and what you do for living – your personality and skills are what we need. Becoming an e-volunteer is also possible when around our place of dwelling there is no non-government organisation. Virtual volunteering is a great opportunity for involving in social matters people who cannot do it physically for different reasons. That is why it is so important for e-volunteering tasks to be treated in the same way as the “traditional” ones. For the disabled, elderly people or parents taking care of children at homes it’s an opportunity to open themselves to the world.
Disfalsification of the Internet image
We have heard about cyber sex, cyber violence and hackers stealing passwords to bank accounts many times. While the media focuses only on the negative features of the Internet, very little is said about using the Web in a positive and valuable way. There are many ways to do that: starting from aiding the online accounts of foundations and associations, through the click and donate mechanisms (such as Polish website www.pajacyk.pl), purchasing products for the poor in the internet stores, organizing charity collections, ending up on carrying out specified tasks for given organizations – that is, e-volunteering. Volunteering promotion in the Web is one of many ways to attract attention to all the good going on in the Internet.
[translation made by an e-volunteer – THANK YOU!]