The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook available for purchase as a paperback & an ebook from Energize, Inc.  

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    August 2016 blog entries
  • The awesome power of tweet tags
  • Research needs re: virtual volunteering
  • Virtual volunteering: it’s oh-so-personal
  • assigning law breakers to community service: worthwhile?
  • “If no one is complaining, we don’t have to change how we do things”
  • Proud to fool courts re: community service
  • Kentucky politicians think volunteers are free
  • Volunteer management is community engagement

  • July 2016 blog entries
  • women-only hours at community Internet centers? why?
  • humanitarian stories & photos – use with caution
  • Wikipedia needs improvement re: volunteerism-related topics
  • Tourism, a catalyst for peace and development
  • Safety in Virtual Volunteering
  • Why Do So Few Women Edit Wikipedia? Insights into virtual volunteering
  • Police: use social media to invite community participation, show compassion
  • Is it really *impossible* to break into humanitarian work?
  • Universal accessibility in tourism! World Tourism Day theme 2016
  • Selling community service leads to arrest, conviction

  • June 2016 blog entries

    May 2016

    I blog often about communications - crafting welcoming messages, crisis responses, managing online conflict, encouraging reconciliation, etc. I decided to create an index of those blogs here. For more than two months, every Tuesday night, and sometimes on Saturdays, I attended the Washington County Sheriff's Department's citizens academy. The academy ended in May. As a consultant and researcher regarding volunteer engagement and communications, I’m talking to organizations about community engagement, and I wanted to see a non-volunteering community engagement scheme first hand, to see how it works and to think about ways the idea might be exported to other, non-law enforcement agencies and even overseas. Also, I’m a human rights advocate, and when I look at what happened in Ferguson, Missouri in particular, I am outraged. So I wanted to see what the attitude of my local sheriff's department is. I blogged halfway through the experience. And now have a lovely photo of me and Sheriff Pat Garrett (no, really, that's his name).

    May 2016 blog entries

    The Coyote Helps Foundation

    April 2016

    Due to a lot of retweets and mentions, I've been getting a lot of visitors to my blog: Vanity Volunteering: all about the volunteer. Have a read and leave a comment!

    April 2016 blogs
    : (in published date reverse order)
    March 2016

    A visit to Havana, Cuba
    I went to Havana, Cuba at the end of February. It’s been a life-long dream. Per my research before and during the trip, I've written published two blogs in March, one on Internet access / digital literacy in Havana, and one on Tweeters re: Cuba development & ICT4D.

    March 2016 blogs: (in published date reverse order)
    January & February 2016

    Me in South Carolina Jan. 27 - 29
    I'll be the keynote speaker and presenting workshops at the South Carolina Association for Volunteer Administration (SCAVA) annual conference, January 27-29, 2016 in North Myrtle Beach! You do not have to be a member of SCAVA to attend. Join me! And you can book me for your conference or workshop!

    Me in Vancouver, Washington Feb. 11
    I'll be the keynote speaker at the Nonprofit Network Southwest Washington / Directors of Volunteer Programs Association (DVPA) conference on Thurs., February 11 in Vancouver, Washington (state).
    And you can book me for your conference or workshop!

    January & February 2016 blogs: (in published date reverse order)

    December 2015 blogs: (in published date reverse order)
    November 2015:

    Online Leadership / Influencing Online
    There is a plethora of information about leading a team online, but as the Duvall Leader in Residence at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Leadership Development (CFLD) in October 2015, I wanted to focus specifically on online leadership, on engaging in activities that influence others online, that create a profile for a person as someone that provides credible, important, even vital information about a particular subject. What does it take to be a leader online? This new page explores that.

    November 2015 blogs: (in published date reverse order)

    October 2015:
    Me in Kentucky in October
    I'll be in Henderson, Kentucky for a week and Lexington, Kentucky for the last week of October. Check out the above link, which has complete details about dates, and, if you want to attend the conferences where I'll be, or if you want a consultation or to buy me coffee while I'm in either city, let me know.

    August 2015:

    Tips for staying in contact with remote staff in developing countries / conflict zones
    Many factors stand in the way of trying to stay in contact with field staff at projects in rural or conflicted areas in developing countries. I review all of the various challenges faced by people in a main office in getting data from field staff working in humanitarian / development / aid initiatives, and how to address those challenges.

    July 2015:

    July & August 2015 blogs: (in published date reverse order)

    May & June 2015 blogs: (in published date reverse order)

    April 2015:

    Updated: Ideas for Leadership Volunteering Activities
    Information on my web site about volunteerism is focused mostly on those who work with volunteers, rather than volunteer themselves. But an FAQ on various online groups is from young people looking leadership volunteering activities - ideas to create or lead a sustainable, lasting benefit to a community, and that involve recruiting others to help. These can also be activities for the Girl Scouts Gold Award, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (U.K.), a mitzvah project, or even scholarship consideration.

    March & April 2015 blogs: (in published date reverse order)

    March 2015:

    Packing Advice For First-Time Humanitarians & Aid Workers
    What you should pack before you head out on your first mission trip, based on my own experiences working for the UN abroad. This information is on a part of my web site that has advertising on the side of the page. The revenue helps me cover the cost of maintaining this entire web site.

    Daily, Mandatory, Minimal Tasks for Nonprofits on Facebook & Twitter
    There are a lot of nonprofits using Facebook and Twitter just to post to press releases. And if that's how your nonprofit, NGO or government agency is using social media, then your organization is missing out on most of the benefits you could gain from such. Facebook, Twitter and other social media are all about engagement. Social media is NOT one-way communication; you want people and organizations to read your information, but you also want them to respond to it. And they want YOU to respond to what THEY are saying. I broke these must-do tasks down into the most simple, basic list as possible - these tasks take minutes, not hours, a day.

    February 2015:

    Recommendations for UN & UNDP in Ukraine to use Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Other Social Media to Promote Reconciliation, Social Inclusion, & Peace-Building in Ukraine (PDF). This is a draft document I submitted to UNDP Ukraine just before I left Kyiv in October 2014, having completed my term there as a "Surge" Communications Advisor. This draft document offers considerations and recommendations for social media messaging that promotes reconciliation, social inclusion, and peace-building in Ukraine. It provides ideas for messaging related to promoting tolerance, respect and reconciliation in the country, and messaging to counter bigotry, prejudice, inequality, misperceptions and misconceptions about a particular group of people or different people among Ukrainians as a whole.

    Research and case studies regarding recruitment and retainment of volunteer firefighters & justifications for involving volunteer firefighters that do NOT relate to "money saved"
    A little bit of commentary and a long list of resources, compiled from various sources. Updates welcomed!

    December 2014:

    PDX-area Organizations Involved in Overseas Development / Aid / Relief & Volunteer Efforts
    Or Educating People Re: Other Countries/Global Affairs

    This page tracks Portland, Oregon metro-area organizations that are involved in overseas development / aid / relief / humanitarian efforts, or that are involved in educating people about other countries. Some are nonprofits, some are university programs, and some are for-profit companies / businesses. Some are focused exclusively on aid and development, some are focused only partially on such.

    List of Volunteer Management Software
    Yes, I've finally updated this page. It also now includes my detailed recommendations on How to Choose Volunteer Management Software. For this page, volunteer management software is defined as software that actually has "volunteer" somewhere in its official description (it does NOT have to be called "volunteer management" software, however). Also, note that many organizations use software developed to track all kinds of constituents - funders, clients, customers, etc. - to also track their volunteers, or software designed to track employees to, instead, track volunteers. Therefore, this page could not be considered a comprehensive list of software that can be used to manage volunteer information.

    My tech: the networked technology tools I use
    I'm an independent consultant, a one-woman shop, and I don't have the funds to buy the very best, very latest computers, tablets, and smart phones, or to upgrade my technology every year. Yet, I've made a name for myself regarding using the Internet to communicate effectively, to be an integral part of a nonprofit organizations' mission-based work, to work remotely and to supervise others remotely, and to support and manage volunteers (virtual volunteering). How do I remain cutting edge online and still be able to afford to pay my bills? How often do I upgrade my technology? I put together this page to answer those questions.

    December 2014 blogs
    (in reverse order):

    Me in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 12 - 15, 2014,
    then Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain, until 19,
    then back to Poland and the USA

    I?ll fly to Warsaw, Poland, arriving November 12, to present workshops on November 13th and 14th regarding virtual volunteering and meet with various NGOs from Eastern Europe, including representatives from Ukraine (HURRAH!!), for, a Polish-based NGO that is at the forefront of promoting digital volunteering in Europe. Participants will include finalists of the e-volunteering competition ? NGO representatives who are finalists to win a grant for the implementation of their ideas for e-volunteering projects. I?ll also be in Barcelona, Catalunya/Spain, all day on November 17, 18 and 19, for a personal visit, but would be happy to meet with any NGO, university or government representative who might like to have lunch or coffee and a chat about anything related to volunteering, NGOs, and/or tech4good. More details.

    I'm booked through Dec. 2014
    (& soon, beyond that!)

    I am fully booked with work through December 2014 (and it looks like I may soon be booked through April 2014 as well!). My schedule tends to fill up very quickly, so if you are thinking of me for a project, contact me soon! Please note I'm taking only paid work - no pro bono projects right now. More about my consulting and training/teaching.

    Oct. 14, Dublin, Ireland
    Featured speaker at Comhlámh annual report launch. I'll be talking about how organizations that send volunteers overseas can incorporate virtual volunteering into the support for those volunteers. I met representatives from Comhlámh when I worked on the EU Aid Initiative earlier this year. In Germany after that, until Oct. 22, 2014.

    Blogs re: my work in Ukraine Aug. 3 - Oct. 3, 2014:
    I?m in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, August 4, 2014
    Apps for good ? two things I learned in Ukraine this week, August 12, 2014
    Fearing your own colleagues in the field, August 13, 2014
    What a work day is like ? so far, August 15, 2014
    Ukrainian named Wikipedian of the Year 2014, August 15, 2014
    World Humanitarian Day is TODAY, August 19, 2014
    Reconciliation, August 20, 2014
    My job: reading the consequences of war, August 26, 2014
    Humans of New York guy posting re: Ukraine, September 8, 2014
    where are the evaluations of hacksforgood/appsforgood?, September 9, 2014
    Ukrainian journalism student project:, September 10, 2014
    Tweets from UNDP Ukraine?s Social Good #inno4dev summit, September 25, 2014
    Using social media to promote respect, tolerance, reconciliation?, September 26, 2014
    What I Did in Ukraine for the United Nations, October 12, 2014

    August 2014

    Hard to Reach: In Ukraine for Aug & Sept., Germany & Ireland for most of Oct.
    I'm off to Kiev (Kyiv) Ukraine for all of August and September, for a two-month consultation with UNDP. I'll be blogging and tweeting about my experience as much as time allows. Then, in October, I'll be in Germany for most of the month for a vacation - it will be my first time back in Germany since I left in 2009, after living there for 8 years. My phone numbers will not work while I am abroad. If you need to reach me, please email me;  if you need to reach me URGENTLY (for instance, you are from the media and you are working on a story and you are on deadline), write a tweet and mention @jcravens42.


    June 2014 

    Incorporating virtual volunteering into a corporate employee volunteer program
    (a resource for businesses / for-profit companies)

    Virtual volunteering - volunteers providing service via a computer, smart phone, tablet or other networked advice - presents a great opportunity for companies to expand their employee philanthropic offerings. Through virtual volunteering, some employees will choose to help organizations online that they are already helping onsite. Other employees who are unable to volunteer onsite at a nonprofit or school will choose to volunteer online because of the convenience.

    Información de voluntariado virtual en español
    Aquí hay unas enlaces a la información en español sobre el voluntariado virtual.

    A blog about my two-week motorcycle tour of Utah, Nevada & Oregon in June 2014.
    2989 miles / 4810.329 kilometres. Included Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park (the most under-rated national park), Goblin Valley - Utah State Park, Anasazi State Park Museum, Bryce Canyon National Park, Great Basin National Park, camping on BLM land, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, and more!
    Onsite workshop in Portland, Oregon:
    Virtual Volunteering: The Right Way to Engage Online Volunteers
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 6 to 8 pm, Idealist, 209 SW Oak St, Ste 600. Networking and refreshments 6pm-6:15pm/6:30pm

    I'm on vacation June 8 - 22. You can email me whilst I'm on vacation, but do not expect to hear from me until after June 22. More information on how to contact me (including for press / media that need to reach me ASAP).

    May 2014  
    Webinar: Virtual Volunteering: An Untapped Resource for Employee Engagement
    10-11 a.m. San Francisco time (1 - 2 p.m. New York City time), Wed., May 28th, 2014
    Why is virtual volunteering worth encouraging at your company or business, to benefit nonprofit organizations, what policies do you need in place, how can you support employees as online volunteers, and how can you track and celebrate their accomplishments? Join VolunteerMatch in conversation with me, Jayne Cravens, and Kaye Morgan-Curtis, of Newell Rubbermaid, to answer these questions and hear how companies are using this strategy to engage employees who might not have otherwise been able to participate in their programs.

    April 2014 
    Internet-mediated Volunteering in the EU (virtual volunteering)
    At long last, Internet-mediated Volunteering in the EU: Its history, prevalence, and approaches and how it relates to employability and social inclusion, has been published. My research was 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, and consumed most of my 2013.

    Folklore, Rumors (or Rumours) & Urban Myths Interfering with Development & Aid/Relief Efforts, & Government Initiatives (& how these are overcome)

    Folklore, rumors (or rumours) and urban myths / urban legends often interfere with relief and development activities, and government initiatives, including public health initiatives -- even bringing such to a grinding halt. They create ongoing misunderstandings among communities and cultures, prevent people from seeking help, encourage people to engage in unhealthy and even dangerous practices, cultivate mistrust of people and institutions, and have even lead to mobs of people attacking someone or others for no reason other than something they heard from a friend of a friend of a friend. This resource has examples of this happening and how to prevent or address such.

    March 2014 

    Online volunteers supporting aid and development
    Since November 2013, I've been providing advice and research regarding the online volunteering component of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, through People In Aid and France Volontaire. I'm finishing up my involvement in the project by the end of March.  

    Motorcycle & bicycle riders supporting aid and development
    Just updated with new examples! Motorcycles for good? Indeed! This page tracks the use of motorcycles in development / aid / relief / humanitarian efforts in developing countries. This isn't so much about volunteers going to developing countries and using motorcycles for relief efforts; rather, these efforts are more about local people being trained to ride and service motorcycles themselves as a part of such efforts, which not only helps get aid, including medicine, where it needs to go, but also helps create small businesses. At the bottom of the page is advice for individuals and small groups who want to use their motorcycles and travels to help others. 

    February & March 2014 Webinars

    The Best Assignments for Online Volunteers, an hour-long webinar for TechSoup.

    The Right Way to Engage Online Volunteers, an hour-long webinar for VolunteerMatch.

    January 2014
    On January 21, I had a super fun tweet chat as a guest of VolunteerMatch. The subject? Virtual volunteering, of course! You can read the transcript here.

    Here's the video from my presentation for San Francisco Online Community Meetup Group (OCTribe), at TechSoup, talking about applying volunteer management principles to online community management. Here are the slides I used for the presentation.

    November 2013

    Free training video of me talking about Using Internet & Smartphone Apps to Work With Volunteers.
    This workshop, Real Tools for Real People: Using Internet & Smartphone Apps to Work With Volunteers, is a 90 minute training video made at the October Corporation for National and Community Service 2013 Pacific Cluster Learning Community Conference, with twang (I'd been in Kentucky two weeks previously). It's focused on managers of AmeriCorps, VISTA, SeniorCorps and other national service members, however, it's applicable to any initiative involving volunteers. Sorry that the video doesn't pick up the laughs from the terrific audience of about 50 or more people.

    Virtual Volunteering in Europe 2013
    For much of 2013, I researched and wrote about Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, online mentoring, etc.) in European Union (EU) countries. I've provide some analysis from that project 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.

    Initiatives opposed to some or all volunteering (unpaid work), and
    online and print articles about or addressing controversies regarding volunteers replacing paid staff

    This is a list of organizations and initiatives opposed to some kinds of volunteering (unpaid work), or ALL kinds of volunteering, including unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations / charities. It is also a list of online and print articles about or addressing controversies regarding volunteers replacing paid staff. Most of the links are to initiatives or actions in Europe or the USA. This list has been compiled to help researchers regarding volunteerism, as well as for policy makers and volunteerism advocates who want to avoid these kinds of controversies at nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This list is also compiled to refute those who believe that there are no such controversies (believe it or not, those people DO exist).

    One(-ish) Day "Tech" Activities for Volunteers

    Volunteers are getting together for intense, one-day events, or events of just a few days, to build web pages, to write code, to edit Wikipedia pages, and more. These are gatherings of onsite volunteers, where everyone is in one location, together, to do an online-related project in one day, or a few days. It's a form of episodic volunteering, because volunteers don't have to make an ongoing commitment - they can come to the event, contribute their services, and then leave and never volunteer again. Because computers are involved, these events are sometimes called hackathons, even if coding isn't involved. This page provides advice on how to put together a one-day event, or just-a-few-days-of activity, for a group of tech volunteers onsite, working together, for a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO), community-focused government program, school or other mission-based organization - or association of such.

    Do you welcome people with your language - or make them uncomfortable (even drive them away)?
    An online exchange with a volunteer manager putting together a volunteer recognition event lead to this blog regarding word choices and religious activities at secular organizations.

    An archive of previous updates (at least six months old) to my web site and blog. Some of these URLs will no longer work, as I do sometimes change web page addresses (and I do not update the URLs on this page):

    October & November 2013 blogs
    How do international NGOs use Twitter?, 27 November 2013
    It?s real: the unpaid internships & volunteers controversy, 23 November 2013
    New report NOT by me re: microvolunteering, 14 November  2013
    Online volunteers, social media, disaster response & the Philippines, 13 November 2013
    mobile devices, mobile apps, texting & volunteers, 28 October 2013
    The question I get asked again & again, 22 October 2013
    No complaints means success?, 17 October 2013
    Freaking out over Facebook privacy?, 15 October 2013
    Volunteer groups leading to financial donation/sponsorships? 14 October 2013

    October 2013

    Want to know what it looks like to live tweet an event? The 2013 Pacific Cluster Learning Community Conference, a multi-day, multi-state training for people managing national service programs, such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, was held in October, and several of the sessions were broadcast live on the Internet. I live-tweeted several sessions one day, as the @Oregonvolunteer guest tweeter. I have a record of the day's tweets here (in reverse order).

    Where I'm speaking in October:

    August & September 2013 blogs
    What I learned from researching virtual volunteering in Europe 16 September 2013
    Open Air Hackathon ? Nonprofits Get Web Sites, Designers Get Accessibility Training, 4 September 2013
    I need your (not so stinking) badges, 31 August 2013
    pro vs. volunteer firefighters, 26 August 2013
    Volunteers needed, but are they wanted?, 21 August 2013
    Fire station turns away volunteers ? and how it could be different World Humanitarian Day, August 19, 20 August 2013
    Me in D.C. & Philly area in April 2014, 14 August 2013
    Unions & Nonprofits: Commentary from the Nonprofit Quarterly, 12 August 2013

    July 2013
    I'm absolutely consumed with finishing the EU project related to virtual volunteering and employability/social inclusion, plus getting updated edition of the Virtual Volunteering Guidebook finished with Susan Ellis. PLUS, doing all that a new home owner needs to do (no one told me THAT was a full-time, unpaid job!). I apologize if you have written me and I haven't responded. I am devoting an hour every day to doing nothing but responding to email - but if you wrote before, say, May and still haven't heard from me, by all means, write me again!

    I'll be available again for consulting around September, but heads up: I am a part of a team put together by an organization that just submitted a bid on a very large project, and if that bid comes through, I may be booked solid again for the rest of the year - so get those requests in now for training/teaching and consulting!

    July 2013 blogs
    global survey on volunteer management software, 25 July 2013
    Virtual Student Foreign Service & eInternship program, 25 July 2013
    Conferencia Latinoamericana de Voluntariado, 14 al 16 de octubre, 23 July 2013
    Virtual volunteering & a rose by any other name…, 17 July 2013
    Wiki re: virtual volunteering in Europe, 15 July 2013
    Virtual volunteering in Europe, 11 July 2013
    Update re: research on virtual volunteering in Europe, 09 July 2013

    Presenting online July 19
    I'll be presenting regarding virtual volunteering for the Metropolitan Volunteer Management Association (MVMA) in St. Louis for all those in St. Louis, Missouri that work with volunteers in any capacity on July 19th at 11:30 am. I'll be here in Oregon and they will be there in St. Louis, at Paraquad (near the Science Center) - we'll be doing this via WebEx. Good thing they booked me months in advance, because otherwise, I couldn't have done this presentation now.
    Want me to do this for you too in Fall 2013 or in 2014? Book now!

    April, May & June 2013 blogs
    Time Magazine asserts there are no organized Atheist volunteers,
    28 June 2013
    Survey for EU online volunteers, 27 June 2013
    EU agencies exploiting interns?, 27 June 2013
    Campaign to End the Overhead Myth, 18 June 2013
    When to NOT pay interns, redux, 14 June 2013
    Finding out how many orgs are involving online volunteers, 14 June 2013
    Volunteerism research should include virtual volunteering!, 05 June 2013
    Why I’m not outraged at the IRS, 31 May 2013
    Say yes to filling out that online profile, 30 May 2013
    Free online courses for relief & development workers, 28 May 2013
    Spontaneous “online volunteers” after disasters, 23 May 2013
    From just a bulletin board to a DISCUSSION, 09 May 2013
    Thank you, Portland metro area, 06 May 2013

    April 2013

    Thrilled to be working on a project for the European Union regarding virtual volunteering! I have a wiki detailing the ict4empl project here. If you are a charity, NGO, or other organization in any European country that has involved volunteers online, please check out the wiki and contact me!

    This EU project means that, through July 2013, I won't be taking on any new consulting projects, though I might be able to squeeze in an online presentation.

    I would really love to start a new consulting project in mid-September! It's not too early to start thinking about how I might be able to help YOUR organization or program!

    March 2013 blogs
    Online community service company tries to seem legit, Mar 26, 2013
    Crowdsourcing & Microvolunteering: still not new, still takes a lot of work, Mar 25, 2013
    Without a Champion, Your Initiative Won’t Survive, Mar 18, 2013
    It's Official: My New Blog Home, Mar 6, 2013

    February 2 8, 2013
    Just got word last week that is shutting down - it hosts my blog. So, for the next several weeks, I'm working on moving my blog to a new host. And then, once all of the content is moved, I have to change all of the addresses on my web site to blog posts to the correct locations. So, no new blogs until March. Sorry for that. And altogether, this is another reminder of why you still need to keep a traditional web site, and own the domain name for such - don't let anyone tell you to switch your entire web site to a blog host - blog hosts DO go away!

    January & February
    2013 blogs
    Everything old is new again, & again, Feb 6, 2013
    What do NGOs understand that USA nonprofits don't?, Feb 4, 2013
    No, I won't post your jargon, Jan 30, 2013
    Hey, where did January go?, Jan 25, 2013
    Nonprofits *are* job creators!, Jan 07, 2013
    Hire me in 2013 - let me help make your organization even better!, Jan 02, 2013

    February 7, 2013

    December 11, 2012

    December 2012 blogs
    volunteering in the digital age - cool, but not new, Dec 20
    mobile apps in nonprofit program & management work, Dec 17
    Nonprofits still struggling, Dec 13
    Striking a chord in 2012, Dec 11
    Dec. 5: International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development, Dec 05
    Volunteer Engagement the Roller Derby Way, Dec 03

    November 16, 2012

    November 2012 blogs
    March 20-22, 2013 Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management, Nov 27, 2012
    A volunteerism blog, not a political one, Nov 14, 2012
    What mobile apps do you promote to clients, volunteers, supporters, staff?, Nov 13, 2012
    Adventure tourism as a tool for economic & community development
    Nov 09, 2012
    Update on a virtual volunteering scam, Nov 06, 2012

    October 23, 2012

    My tech: the networked technology tools I use
    (and have used over the years)
    Since I started this web site back in 1996, I have shared what technology tools I use - and how I use it. I do that because I have found web sites by various folks so very helpful when I'm learning some new technology or wondering if I should invest in a new tool, and because the Internet started off as a place where people freely offered helpful advice and tools - and it's my way of keeping that spirit alive. I'm no techie, but I do like being a good citizen.

    I led two tweetchats on Twitter this month! The tweetchat is focused on building and sustaining online communities for nonprofits, charities, schools, government programs and other mission-based initiatives, though some corporate folks frequently show up and share. More about the #commbuild tweetchat events.

    August & September 2012 blogs
    NGOs are using the cloud - but there are barriers, September 24, 2012
    Magical paychecks, September 18, 2012
    Theater as a community development/education tool - it takes more than artists, August 21, 2012
    Women & the Digital Divide: still a reality?, August 14, 2012
    Tourism as a tool for economic & community development, August 08, 2012
    Managers of volunteers love spreadsheets, August 06, 2012

    I'm away from the Internet Aug. 31 - Sept. 16, 2012
    I'm away from the Internet - no email, no Twitter, no nuthin'. Truly unplugged. I expect to dig out from the piled up email and tweets by the end of the month.

    August 2012

    July 2012 blogs
    What's so fabulous about software tools for volunteer management?, July 23, 2012
    What did you learn today? Or this week?, July 19, 2012
    What do volunteers do? The answer may surprise you, July 17, 2012
    Results of survey re volunteer management software, July 10, 2012
    Have you ever changed your mind?, July 02, 2012

    July 11, 2012
    Results of our survey regarding volunteer management software

    In March and April 2012, myself and Rob Jackson drafted and circulated a survey regarding software used to manage volunteer information. The purpose of the survey was to gather some basic data that might help organizations that involve volunteers to make better-informed decisions when choosing software, and to help software designers to understand the needs of those organizations. We also wanted to get a sense of what organizations were thinking about volunteer management software. At long last, we're publishing the results of the survey here (in PDF). It includes an executive summary of our findings, as well as the complete responses to questions and our analysis of such. Rob and I did not have time to analyze all of the comments made in answer to some questions; for all questions, we listed the comments made, but we did not always offer any observations about such, or group the responses into categories. We welcome the efforts of other researchers to offer their own analysis of the data provided. You can make comments about the survey results on my blog.

    June & May 2012 blogs
    Say it! Say it! "MANAGERS OF VOLUNTEERS", June 27, 2012
    How Yahoo could THRIVE, June 25, 2012
    Do departments at your org hate each other?, June 20, 2012
    Before you create that online profile... do you want to keep it?, June 14, 2012
    Pioneering in "hacks for good": Knowbility, June 11, 2012
    Volunteer online with TechSoup, Jun 06, 2012
    Nonprofits & volunteers - time to brag on Techsoup!, June 04, 2012
    Careful what you claim: the passions around identity, May 31, 2012
    Sound off re employees & volunteers appropriate behavior online, May 29, , 2012
    what's most important about software experience, May 21, 2012
    When to NOT pay interns, May 14, 2012
    Don't know Linda Graff? You're in trouble! , May 09, 2012
    mama jane., May 03, 2012
    Share! Spout! Debate! Discuss!, May 02, 2012

    Presentation May 17, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    Trends in Volunteer Engagement

    Join me for a workshop for this intensive workshop for the Northwest Oregon Volunteer Administrators Association (NOVAA), 9 am - noon, at the First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson, Portland, Oregon. Here are complete details on the workshop, and how to RSVP. With the economy the way it is, it's rare that I present onsite, face-to-face these days (usually, I'm asked for webinars), let alone for something this intensive, so don't miss this opportunity!
    Book me to present /teach a class for your organization!

    April 2012 blogs
    The volunteer as bully = the toxic volunteer, April 24, 2012
    Fear of Wrestling, April 16, 2012
    My Twitter Lists, April 12, 2012
    I don't like "Closed Gardens", April 10, 2012
    So Many Young People, April 5, 2012
    Volunteer Management: Once More with Meaning, April 04, 2012
    Unofficial, DIY volunteer? Or something else?, April 03, 2012

    April 11, 2012
    March 30, 2012 March 2012 blogs
    March 23, 2012


    March 15, 2012
      Please take this survey regarding the software you are now using to track and/or schedule volunteers. Whether you are using a series of spreadsheets, a donor management software, or something designed specifically for volunteers, I want to hear from you! Software vendors: please consider sharing this survey with your customers; the survey results, sans the identifying information of survey takers, will be shared, and can help you improve your product. THIS SURVEY WILL BE REMOVED ON APRIL 4, 2012.


    March 2, 2012

    February 2012 blogs
    January 2012 blogs
    New Resources! (January 3, 2012)
      Using a Cell Phone or Feature Phone as a Smart Phone
      Though it may be hard for those of you have smart phones to believe, not everyone has a smart phone. Millions of people simply cannot afford a smart phone. Some of them use a simple cell phone, with very limited capabilities: the ability to make and receive phone calls and text messages. Some people have something that's more than a cell phone but less than a smart phone: they have a feature phone, which has some web browsing capabilities. Can you use a simple cell phone or a feature phone as a smart phone? Yes! There are several free online tools that can help you use whatever phone you have interact with various Internet tools.

      Using the Internet to Share Your Adventure During Your Adventure
      Advice on blogging, photo-sharing, tweeting, etc. while you are traveling.

      Most of the academic articles that have cited my work are listed at my Google Scholar account.

    October 19, 2011
      I started my second ever independent, grass-roots online advocacy campaign - to get the word out about the horrifically-named "Pimp My Cause" and mobilize activists to tell the organization that name has got to GO. Here's my first blog on the subject, and a followup blog. It's been a fascinating experience to be in such a role; while I've helped with many a local, state, national or international campaign undertaken by a nonprofit organization, an NGO, an international agency or a government agency, this was my first attempt to start and lead such entirely on my own. I didn't do it for just the learning experience, but that's definitely been one of the primary benefits for me. What was my first ever independent, grass-roots online advocacy campaign? To bring to light this virtual volunteering / online community service possible scam (note updates in comments section).


    July 18, 2011, 2011  
    July 10, 2011
      Required Volunteer Information on Your Web Site
      If your organization or department involves volunteers, or wants to, there are certain things your organization or department must have on its web site - not by law, of course, but from a point of view of ethics and credibility. To not have this basic information about volunteer engagement on your web site says that your organization or department takes volunteers for granted, does not value volunteers beyond money saved in salaries, or is not really ready to involve volunteers.

      Mission statements for your volunteer engagement
      (Saying WHY your organization or department involves volunteers!)
      In addition to carefully crafting the way you talk about the value of volunteers, your organization should also consider creating a mission statement for your organization's volunteer engagement, to guide employees in how they think about volunteers, to guide current volunteers in thinking about their role and value at the organization, and to show potential volunteers the kind of culture they can expect at your organization regarding volunteers.

    June 6, 2011
      UPDATED: Short-term tasks for tech volunteers
      There are a variety of ways for nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), schools, government agencies and other mission-based organizations to involve volunteers to help with short-term projects relating to computers and the Internet, and short-term assignments are what are sought after most by potential "tech" volunteers. But there is a disconnect: most organizations have trouble identifying short-term tech-related projects. This list of one-time, short-term tech-related volunteering assignments might takes a few days, a couple of weeks or maybe a month to complete. But each has a definite start date and end date, shouldn't go on longer than a month (maybe two) and does not require a volunteer to make an ongoing commitment to the organization - once an assignment is done, the volunteer can move on to another assignment, or stop volunteering with the organization altogether.

    May 4, 2011
      This summer, I'll be teaching one of the four Volunteerism and Volunteer Management (PA592 CRN 82727 or non-credit) classes for the Institute for Nonprofit Management at Portland State University. The classes are being organized by Erin Barnhart, and will be held on June 22 and 29, and July 6 and 13. My portion will be on using the Internet to support and engage with volunteers, but please note that using the Internet as a part of volunteer management will permeate ALL of these classes, rather than being segregated into just one section (which makes this series of courses unique among volunteer management classes and institutes!). More information and details on registering here.

      I can conduct classes, workshops and training sessions on various topics related to community outreach and engagement. I can tailor workshops to a variety of needs. Read more here (including a list of my trainings to date).

    April 6, 2011
      Webinar & Discussion: Using Social Media with Volunteers

      On Thursday, April 14 at 11 am Pacific Time USA / 2 pm East Coast Time), TechSoup is hosting a free, live webinar to discuss ways to use social media to find, communicate with and build community among volunteers. Happening during National Volunteer Appreciation Week in the USA, this webinar is for nonprofits, schools, libraries, and any mission-based organizations interested in exploring how social media and other technologies might be used to strengthen their current volunteer program.

      The presentation will be by Erin Barnhart and me, Jayne Cravens.

      We will focus on examples of different ways different organizations have used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms to support current volunteers and recruit new volunteers. We will talk about ways to introduce or expand an organization's use of such tools. And we will also review some cautions about using these tools with volunteers.

      We want this to be a highly practical workshop, and we want the learning to continue long after the webinar is over. So reply to this message on the TechSoup community forum with your questions, concerns and examples regarding using social media tools to find, communication with and build community among volunteers!

      Feel free to publicize this workshop and the TechSoup discussion thread to your own networks. And please RSVP and attend on April 14!

    March 22, 2011  
    March 8, 2011
    • Creating Group Volunteering Activities
      Details on not just what groups of volunteers can do in a two-hour, half-day or all-day event, but also just how much an organization or program will need to do to prepare a site for group volunteering. It's an expensive, time-consuming endeavor - are you ready? Is it worth it?

    January 25, 2011

    December 2010 Blogs:

    December 29, 2010

    November 2010 Blogs  
    November 15, 2010  
    October 20, 2010  
    August 17, 2010  
    July 26, 2010  
    July 12, 2010  
    July 1, 2010  
    June 30, 2010

    I've launched some new pages on my web site, designed for those who aren't volunteer managers, and aren't professional nonprofit staff -- rather, these new pages are for individuals, particularly young people, who want to do some good, or need community service hours, or want to fund a volunteering trip abroad, but aren't sure where to or how to get started:

    You will notice two big differences about these pages from the rest of my web site:
    1. Most of my web site is focused on people who work with or for nonprofit organizations and NGOs, particularly those who outreach to or engage with the community (communications managers, PR and marketing managers, volunteer managers, program managers, etc.), and is focused on promoting my areas of expertise. By contrast, these new pages are focused on individuals, particularly young people, who want to do some good, or need community service hours, but aren't sure where to or how to get started. If the Community Service section of Yahoo had an FAQs section, this is what it should say.

    2. The majority of my web site, which is focused on those who are formally affiliated with nonprofits and NGOs, are ad-free. This new section of my web site is not.

    By clicking on any of the ads on these pages, you help me raise funds to maintain my entire web site (web hosting, domain name ownership and, ofcourse, my time). Also, I'm not responsible for the advertising that appears on these pages (ads are Google's decision).


    Read more about the training I can provide your organization. Bookings taken up to one year in advance. My schedule fills up quickly.

    April 1, 2010

    February 25, 2010  
    February 9, 2010  
    February 1, 2010  
    January 4, 2010

    Happy New Year! Employ me!

    Want to know when this site is updated? Whether you are a fan of my work or a stalker, it's oh-so-easy to stay up-to-date with me and my web site:


    2012, 2011 & 2010 Blogs (index of titles, by date)

    December 16, 2009:  
    November 24, 2009:  
    November 20, 2009:  
    November 12, 2009:  
    October 8, 2009:  
    August 22, 2009:  
    August 13, 2009:  
    July 12, 2009:  
    July 7, 2009:  
    May 27, 2009:  
    April 17, 2009:  
    February 17, 2008  
    February 6, 2008  
    January 23, 2008  
    January 6, 2008 December 19, 2007  
    October 24, 2007  
    September 23, 2007  
    September 1, 2007

    August 22, 2007

    As of February 20, 2007

    As of February 6, 2007  
    As of January 16, 2007  
    As of January 11, 2007  
    As of January 3, 2007  
    As of November 20, 2006  
    As of November 2, 2006
    As of October 1, 2006  
    As of August 1, 2006  
    As of June 7, 2006  
    As of May 9, 2006  
    As of April 12, 2006  
    As of April 2, 2006  
    As of March 15, 2006  
    As of March 1, 2006  
    As of February 1, 2006  
    As of January 25, 2006  
    As of January 2, 2006  
    As of October 12, 2005  
    As of September 6, 2005  
    As of August 12, 2005  
    As of July 12, 2005  
    As of July 5, 2005  
    As of June 13, 2005  
    As of June 01, 2005

    This page and its features are currently being beta-tested.