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Classifying and Relating Different Types of Online and Offline Volunteering

  • Jennifer IhmEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The contemporary media environment allows for online volunteering where volunteers can participate without being physically present or being affiliated with a traditional organization. Challenging the traditional types of volunteering and accounting for the new trends, this study identifies different types of online and offline volunteering and examines the relationship between them. Drawing on online survey data from 816 U.S.-based volunteers, this study finds that active online volunteers are also active offline volunteers, suggesting that volunteering in one sphere can complement volunteering in the other sphere. This study discusses implications for understanding volunteering as a complex activity where individuals engage in varied organizational contexts to different degrees and extend their participation to both online and offline spheres.

Keywords

Online volunteering Virtual volunteering Offline volunteering Clicktivism Slacktivism 

Résumé

L’environnement médiatique contemporain favorise le bénévolat en ligne, soit un espace où les bénévoles peuvent s’impliquer sans être physiquement présents ni affiliés à un organisme traditionnel. Questionnant les types traditionnels de bénévolat et de comptabilité des nouvelles tendances, la présente étude identifie différents types de bénévolats en ligne et hors ligne, et examine la relation qui les unit. En utilisant les données en ligne de 816 bénévoles situés aux É.-U., le présent article découvre que les bénévoles actifs en ligne le sont aussi hors ligne, suggérant ainsi que le bénévolat dans une sphère complète celui de la seconde sphère. Cet article traite des implications requises pour comprendre le bénévolat en tant qu’activité complexe, où des individus sont impliqués dans une variété de contextes organisationnels à différents niveaux et étendent leur participation aux deux sphères, en ligne et hors ligne.

Zusammenfassung

Das heutige Medienumfeld macht eine ehrenamtliche Online-Tätigkeit möglich, die ausgeübt werden kann, ohne dass die Ehrenamtlichen physisch anwesend oder mit einer traditionellen Organisation verbunden sind. Die vorliegende Studie stellt die traditionellen Arten der ehrenamtlichen Arbeit in Frage und erklärt die neuen Trends. Sie ermittelt unterschiedliche Arten ehrenamtlicher Online- und Offline-Tätigkeiten und untersucht die Beziehung zwischen ihnen. Unter Berufung auf Daten aus einer Online-Befragung von 816 Ehrenamtlichen in den USA kommt man zu dem Ergebnis, dass Personen, die ehrenamtlich online aktiv sind, sich auch offline ehrenamtlich engagieren, was darauf hindeutet, dass eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit in einem Bereich die ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit in einem anderen Bereich ergänzen kann. Der Beitrag diskutiert die Implikationen für das Verständnis der ehrenamtlichen Arbeit als eine komplexe Aktivität, bei der Personen in verschiedenen organisatorischen Kontexten in unterschiedlichem Umfang tätig sind und ihr Engagement sowohl Online- als auch Offline-Tätigkeiten umfassen kann.

Résumén

El entorno mediático contemporáneo permite el voluntariado online en el que los voluntarios pueden participar sin estar físicamente presentes o estar afiliados a una organización tradicional. Cuestionando los tipos tradicionales de voluntariado y tomando en cuenta las nuevas tendencias, el presente estudio identifica diferentes tipos de voluntariado online y offline y examina la relación entre ambos. Recurriendo a datos de encuestas online de 816 voluntarios estadounidenses, el presente documento encuentra que los voluntarios online activos son también voluntarios offline activos, lo que sugiere que el voluntariado en una esfera puede complementar al voluntariado en la otra esfera. El presente documento trata las implicaciones para comprender el voluntariado como una actividad compleja en la que los individuos se comprometen en contextos organizativos variados en diferentes grados y amplían su participación tanto en la esfera online como en la offline.

摘要

当代媒体环境允许在线志愿服务,志愿者无需亲自出马或加入某一传统组织便可提供服务。针对传统志愿服务模式及最新形势,本次调研列出了多种线上和线下志愿服务并研究了它们之间的关系。本文根据来自816名美国志愿者的在线调研数据,最终发现,积极的线上志愿者也是积极的线下志愿者。由此表明,某一领域的志愿服务可与其他领域志愿服务相辅相成。另外,本文还对志愿服务作为一项复杂的,可以不同组织环境,不同程度参加且线上和线下均可参与的活动进行了探讨性理解。

要約

現代のメディア環境においては、オンライン・ボランティアは物理的に存在しているか、または伝統的な組織と提携せずにボランティア活動を行うことができる。本論文では、伝統的なタイプのボランティアを批判して新しい傾向を説明することによって、オンラインとオフラインのボランティア活動の種類を識別してその関係を考察する。米国を拠点とするボランティア816名のオンライン調査データを踏まえて、本論文ではオンラインでアクティブなボランティアは同時に活動的なオフラインのボランティアであることを明らかにする。一地域で活動するボランティアは、他地域でのボランティア活動を補完できることを提示する。様々な組織における背景の下で個人が異なる度合いで業務に従事して、オンラインとオフラインの両方の参加が拡大するが、本論文ではこの複雑な活動を行うボランティア活動を理解するための含意を説明する。

ملخص

تسمح البيئة الإعلامية المعاصرة للعمل التطوعي على الإنترنت حيث يمكن للمتطوعين المشاركة دون أن يكونوا حاضرين شخصيا” أو إرتباطهم مع منظمة تقليدية. تتحدي أنواع التطوع لتقليدية وتمثل الإتجاهات الجديدة، تحدد هذه الدراسة أنواع مختلفة من التطوع عن طريق الإنترنت و بدون إنترنت وتبحث العلاقة بينهما. بالإعتماد على بيانات إستطلاع على الرأي على الانترنت من 816 متطوع مقرهم الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، وجد هذا البحث أن المتطوعين عبر الإنترنت النشطاء أيضا” حاليا” متطوعين نشطاء بدون الإنترنت، مما يشير إلى أن العمل التطوعي في أحد المجالات يمكن أن يكمل العمل التطوعي في مجال آخر. يناقش هذا البحث الآثار لفهم العمل التطوعي كنشاط معقد حيث يشارك الأفراد في سياقات تنظيمية متنوعة لدرجات مختلفة وتوسيع مشاركتهم في كل من المجالين على الإنترنت و بدون إنترنت.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author is very grateful to Michelle Shumate for her fruitful comments on drafts of this article. The author also thanks Karen Myers, Brayden King, and Noshir Contractor for their helpful comments. The paper is based on the author’s dissertation research.

Funding

The present research has been conducted by the Research Grant of Kwangwoon University in 2016.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author has received the Research Grant from Kwangwoon University in 2016.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommunicationsKwangwoon UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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