Friday August 3: Of Ants and Men

There was no weekly email last week as I was traveling to neighboring Laos. Back online I continued the exploration of Online Volunteering by asking "where is the knowledge" or what does the North really know?

I also collided with an old concept that came back to my mind when I was traveling in one of the last communist regime still in power in the world: Emergence. Emergence is often used to explain how ant hill works, but it can also be used to explain how communities organise themselves. I got the vision (nothing religious) that an Online Volunteering Organisation should be an emergent system and that only this approach would make it work. I believe that trying to impose a structure on online volunteers would simply not work.

To accommodate this new approach, I simplified the forum, and started to work on a vision and mission statement and a Scope of action, hoping they will grow from the discussion.


Friday July 20: Weekend Warriors and Worker Bees!

After a quiet week, the forum has seen a flurry of new postings with great ideas and new vision! What is a weekend warriors volunteers and why is it important to know that? What worker bees do? Does an Online Volunteering Organisation need a high tech website? Should resources meet needs or needs meet resources? What should the OVO sell to volunteer? How should the organisation present itself? Doorman bible seller or fashion show?

Click on Recent Posts in the Left Navigation Menu to access the latest contribution.

This forum is run independently from similar discussions that could be taken place elsewhere. It is a place to express ideas, visions, feelings, and expectations. What I am trying to achieve it to frame a concept that for now has probably never been explored from the point of view of the people who have done some online volunteering. These people have an experience and knowledge to share and I believe that any OVO could benefit by listening to its user to built a better system which ultimate goal is to deliver results.


Friday, July 13: OVO, The Communities Speak!

This week the Forum has been a bit quiet but we have three new members and a new section in the forum. This new section is of particular importance as I have asked community representative to join us and tell us what they expected when they asked for help from online volunteers.

I have raised the question of not re-inventing the wheel and also suggested some types of projects in Education that I think can be achieve online.


Friday, July 6: Credentials, credibility and money!

This week discussion in the Summer Forum on Online Volunteering raised the interesting issues of credentials and credibility. How can we trust the organization that runs the website asked Siegfried from Nabuur? How do I know the questions from the community we are assisting are for real? And Teresa to add "how could I be sure that [the money I raised for a tractor and sent to someone I don't know] would be spent on a tractor?

Interestingly enough, these questions provides me with an opportunity to discuss the position of an OVO. Indeed, in a previous post I suggested that an OVO should model its organisation and objectives on a B2B business that is a business that deals with other businesses and not with customers.

Check these threads online (click on recent post in the left menu). Add you voice to the debate!


Friday, June 29: Back to postal delivery?

The discussion in the various sections of the Summer Forum on Online Volunteering has started. Slowly, but started.

An important discussion was initiated on the role and importance of technology, especially the Internet, which can be perceived as THE solution from those who can easily access to it, but may be of little help for the community in need. One contributor suggest thinking about "postal delivery" when we use the internet and I think this is a brilliant idea! We should really put ourselves in the shoes of those at the other end of the keyboard!

Another interesting discussion started about the role of an Online Volunteering Organisation (OVO). Ideas such as "matchmaker" and "knowledge distribution" came up.

The first list of FAQs that such OVO would have to answer is characterized by concerns of "achievement", "commitment" and "management".

Let's keep the good contribution coming!


Friday, June 22: TGI Friday !

Friday, last day of the working week and in a few hours the weekend. Relaxing time, shopping, food, friends and family, bowling?

What about giving 20 minutes of your time to the Summer Forum on Online Philanthropy?

I'll help you….

I have initiated the following discussions. Just think about it while you are cooking lunch, doing the laundry or shopping, and when ready go online and post ONE message in one of the forum. It won't take you more than 20 minutes:

* Defining "Millennium Goals" for an online philanthropy organisation.
* Core values and beliefs for a meaning and efficient full vision.
* Working with online Volunteers = Working in resources limited settings?
* Who should be leading a project? The community, the volunteer? Both? A no-dogma approach.
* What is the role of Fundraising in the organisation?
* And finally, join me and Teresa to ask your first 5 frequently asked questions (FAQs) before joining an online philanthropy organisation

Please join us and get your friends involved!

And Enjoy your Weekend !

Warm Regards


June 21, 2007 - Summer Forum Grand Opening !

Without too much rolling of the drums, the Summer Forum on Online Philanthropy officially opened today!

Teresa, a long time Facilitator at Nabuur posted the first contribution in the Governance section of the forum! Who will be next? Start here, invite your friends, post in the forum where you feel contributing.

To stay up to date with the discussion add the Forum RSS Feed to your feed reader. You can find it at the bottom of the Forum page. Wiki pages have their own feeds too.

No idea what a feed reader is? Try Netvibes, I use it as my home page and with one look I know where things are moving in my internet bubble! If you use Yahoo or Google, they also come with a feed reader.


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