Our colleagues north of the border at Macdonald Youth Services in Winnipeg offer guidance about how to work with volunteers at remote locations. Online Volunteer Program Developer Randy Tyler writes,
Considering the challenge to recruit sufficient face-to-face
volunteers coupled with the lack of online volunteering resources
available, our leading and trusted 78 year-old registered charitable
Canadian organization, Macdonald Youth Services (MYS), recently
launched three best practices virtual volunteer program development
resources, based on our 10 years of pioneering work in this space. . . .
Our "About Online Volunteering – Information Non-Profit Organizations Can Use" Blog and Podcast can be accessed from: http://www.mys.ca/aov . . . .
"The Global Directory of Web Sites that List Online Volunteer
Opportunities" allows any non-profit organization to easily locate Web
sites where they can list (post) their online volunteer opportunities….[at] www.mys.ca/directory.
Noting that "Working with online volunteers usually involves the exchange of files, often exceeding e-mail attachment limits," Tyler and his online volunteer crew have also produced a listing of 17 free Web-based file exchange services. For each file transfer service, the name, Web address, maximum file upload size, monthly transfer limit, maximum storage, allowable file storage time and user requirements have been provided. You can download it as a PDF file from http://www.mys.ca/aov.
Tyler writes, "I am still amazed at the kindness of these
strangers who contribute to an organization they will never see.
Remarkably, some of our committed and talented online volunteers have
been involved with us for as long as eight years."
The Nonprofiteer is even more amazed; and yet why should she be? People volunteer to connect with and experience community, and people–young people especially–increasingly connect with one another on-line. If it doesn’t feel like the "community" with which the Nonprofiteer is familiar, well, neither did her feminist consciousness-raising sessions feel much like her mother’s League of Women Voters meetings. Both were nonetheless valid.
Never mind how: as E.M. Forster advised, "Only connect."