VCN Technical Volunteer Web

Concept

We see a problem in small to medium non-profits (NP) needing technical volunteers for their information and communication technology (ICT) work to be sustainable, and technical volunteers needing experience and a support network to be able to function effectively.

Currently non-profit groups often develop technical volunteer programs in isolation from larger technical support networks. There is often little continuity when one person leaves and another takes over. Skill levels are frequently inconsistent and technical implementations idiosyncratic. There is little opportunity for technical volunteers to benefit from networking with others doing similar work and their technical capacity is developed without reference to the bigger picture of ICT developments.

We are proposing to take volunteers from placements and ICT related post-secondary and college programs and provide them with community based work experiences. We will provide orientation to working on ICT in the NP sector, mentorship, supervised work experience and a support network. Volunteers will then be matched with Lower Mainland NP groups that have taken part in the VolNet program (400) or who are hosting CAP sites (150) while they retain their links to the larger collaborative support network of technical people.

Developing a model for a web of technical volunteer support is important because the use of ICTs by non-profits is quickly becoming ubiquitous. It is essential for communication and collaboration, access to government information and forms, learning about developments in their sector, accessing resources for people served and increasing their capacity for advocacy.

We will partner with a community college to identify suitable programs for intake and with a volunteer centre to broaden the network of potential volunteers and organizations that want support.

Note that this Concept page relates to the Technical Volunteer Web project, which is now completed. The project took place from early 2000 to 2001.

Last modified September 3, 2002

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