Revised with new information November 23, 2013

   The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

now available for purchase as a paperback & an ebook from Energize, Inc.

Completely revised and updated!
Published January 2014.

Virtual Volunteering in Europe 2013

From April through October 2013, I researched and wrote about Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, online mentoring, etc.) in European Union (EU) countries for the ICT4EMPL Future Work project, undertaken by the Information Society Unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

The overall ICT4EMPL project is focused on employability (developing job skills, exploring careers, etc.) and social inclusion, so all of my analysis in the narrative regarding virtual volunteering for the EU ties back to those goals. The final paper should be available through the Information Society Unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. But here's some analysis about what I found in my research that either aren't in the paper I've submitted, but I think they should be out in public for discussion, or, that are in the paper, but I wanted to highlight them in particular for discussion:

Doing this project was a lot like when I began researching virtual volunteering back in the 1990s for the Virtual Volunteering Project:

One of the most important tools in my research was; it allowed me to go through earlier iterations of web sites to determine when an organization first started talking, at least online, about virtual volunteering. I could not have done the research without it.

As part of this project, I created a wiki of all of the various resources I used for my research and many of the appendices. However, I'm not sure that this wiki is going to continue to be in existence. So I'm recreating this information here on my own web site. However, I will NOT be updating this data:

In addition, several portions of the paper were cut before it was finalized. I've used that cut information to create these two resources:

Please note that I am no longer researching virtual volunteering in Europe. You can feel free to use all of this data in any report or resource you are putting together, so long as I am credited in some way with providing the data. Now, it's time for traditional volunteer centers and volunteerism institutions in Europe to embrace their role in tracking and promoting virtual volunteering - as well as group volunteering, family volunteering, episodic volunteering, and all of the various other forms of non-traditional volunteering. I look forward to seeing this information added to their web sites, publications and trainings.

Also, in January 2014, The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook will be released. It includes the basics for getting started with involving and supporting volunteers online, but also offers detailed information to help organizations that are already engaged in virtual volunteering with improving and expanding their programs. None of the research generated by the EU project is in the book. It is a practical guide, though it does include some case studies and research.

Also see


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