  Chapter 

Online volunteers

  • Enhance organizations’ resources: online volunteers provide organizations with additional skills and expertise that may not be available yet. Coming from various backgrounds and cultures, they bring new ideas and fresh perspectives.
  • Develop organizations’ capacities: online volunteers can increase an organization’s institutional capacities by training staff, teaching new skills or providing guidance and advice.
  • Extend organizations’ networks
  • Online volunteers learn about the organizations with which they collaborate and the people it serves, and in turn share this information with their friends and colleagues - mobilizing additional support.

Examples:

  • Six online volunteers supported the Youth for Technology Foundation in establishing the Sironko Digital Village, a community technology and learning center in Uganda. They developed strategies for training courses and income generation. They created a webpage, developed marketing material, researched potential donors, managed a contacts database of supporters and conducted outreach campaigns. Finally, they made recommendations on networking equipment, Internet connection and providers, online facilities and electricity supply.
  • Online volunteers have advised a youth focused NGO in Tanzania, the Tanzania Media and Youth Development Association, on lobbying and networking, and coached members of the NGO on how to negotiate with decision makers in government, community, and the private sector. Now they confidently engage with and receive strong support from leaders at all levels, the organization’s recommendations have been relayed to Parliament, and it successfully engaged in the coordination of a National Youth Employment Summit Campaign.
  • The organization Teach a Man to Fish works towards transforming agricultural education in developing countries. After discussing the details of an assignment for designing an online game, which would help partners understand the organization’s educational model, an online volunteer realized that the project needed additional support. Through his private and professional networks, he put together a team of five engineers and artists and coordinated the team’s activities to help develop the game.
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