Voluntarios em Ação Institute - Report July 2011


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Voluntários Online Portal - Three years bringing the power of the web for volunteering and the social causes!

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Voluntarios em Ação Institute - Report July 2011

  1. 1. Voluntários Online Portal Three years bringing the power of the web for volunteering and the social causes July 2011 We are building a better world 1 - Voluntários em Ação Institute – IVA The IVA was created in 1998, an initiative of leaders of the city of Florianópolis (Brazil),who responded to an invitation from the chairwoman of the Council of Solidarity Community,Mrs. Ruth Cardoso, who encouraged the creation of civil society organizations to workspreading the culture of volunteerism. And that is how IVA was born, with the role to work for Santa Catarina with the purposeto have more and better volunteers, people who devote their time, labor and talent tocommunity causes. Through a financial support that was granted for 3 years, in decreasing order - supportof 60% in the first year, 40% in the second year, and 20% in the third year - IVA went growingand searching for new partners to keep their activities through financial and servicespartnerships with companies and private individuals who provide the funding and maintenance www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  2. 2. of the organization. After completing three years of activities of the Voluntários Online Portal, we want toshare the results of this work, especially with our supporters, volunteers and organizations thattrust in our work and in the POWER OF VOLUNTEERING. 2. IVA’s operation from 1998 to 2008 Since 1998 the IVA began its work of spreading the culture of volunteering, firstpresenting its function to organizations that needed volunteers, showing that they had todedicate attention to recruitment, selection and management of their volunteers, because theyare an important part of their work and could contribute significantly to better achieve theirgoals in serving the community. The IVA played a crucial role for the organizations of SantaCatarina, especially in the region of Florianópolis. On the other hand, IVA worked with potentialvolunteers, spreading to all the public the significance of volunteering, its important role inorganizations serving the community, their responsibilities and challenges, trying to motivatemore people to become volunteers. It’s important to remember that along the way IVA wasable to show, especially in Santa Catarina, that we can all be volunteers. The idea thatvolunteering is an opportunity only for those who have no occupation or concerns for theirlivelihood has been completely demystified. It shows that we all have a contribution to make,regardless of our professional, educational or social activities, and the profile of volunteersmobilized by IVA has completely changed the characterization above, as we will present later inthis document. With the mobilization and involvement of all segments and age groups for volunteering,and the increasing involvement of young people and students, the communication betweenIVA, volunteers and some organizations was no longer in person or by telephone, and becamepredominantly through Internet. The weekly training meetings held at the IVA headquarters no www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  3. 3. longer had effective participation of potential volunteers, as the interest of volunteers with thisprofile was more immediate, and as they were motivated, they wanted to quickly attend theirwishes to exercise citizenship and solidarity. In addition to this, there were mobility issues thatput off volunteers. To make the commitment to come to IVA headquarter to choose the workto be done made their engagement more difficult. From these findings the IVA began a process of benchmarking with other VolunteerCenters, especially in European countries, Canada and the United States. These studies led us toidentify that volunteers were being mobilized, recruited, selected and trained through Internetportals, facilitating this intermediation work. Thus, Canadians, Americans and Spanish portalshelped us to get this new way of action, the Voluntários Online Portal, established when IVAwas completing 10 years of experience in the region of Florianópolis. 3. The Voluntários Online Portal With the release of the Voluntários Online Portal a significant change happened in theoperating strategy of IVA (“Voluntários em Ação Institute”), expanding its operation which wasjust “onsite” in the Florianópolis region to “online” and all over Brazil. The idea of expanding the field of operation was quite significant for the IVA, but thisactivity through a Portal on the Internet was mainly due to the changes that occurred in recentyears, especially in relation to communication, by making available the use of information andcommunication technologies and their synergies, as well as the introduction of its use into thedaily life of most Brazilians. The work accomplished by IVA through the Portal also madeavailable the systematization of online volunteering, a type of volunteer work that can be donevia the web, without leaving home, enabling a greater number of people to engage in volunteeractivities. However, it was known that many challenges awaited us, and the main one would be www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  4. 4. to work for the digital inclusion of the third sector organizations. Our experience in the previousten years working “onsite” in the Florianópolis region showed us that potential volunteers wereusing the Internet on a frequent basis, a situation that led us to conduct studies and decide tocreate a volunteer portal on the Internet. Nevertheless, the social organizations that receivevolunteers were not in the same situation. On the contrary, the use of Internet was still a majorbarrier because the concern regarding the main activity of the organization, which means:attending its target public did not enable them to search new alternatives to accomplish theiractivities, such as administration, recruitment and selection of volunteers. Besides that, anothergreat challenge that presented itself was the ability of these organizations to work with onlinevolunteering, because if the use of computers was not a common reality in the organizations,then managing online volunteers became a much greater challenge. But none of this preventedus from accomplishing this work and introduce a tool that assists non-profit organizations andpublic schools all over Brazil, and share with our partners the work in this new perspective ofinclusion through Internet. The Portal has become a unique tool because the Voluntários Online Portal is the onlyone that allows the registration of non-profit organizations, public schools, where they can puttheir volunteer opportunities, and volunteers who can choose from the opportunities offered;also allowing organizations to search for volunteers by their profile, inviting them to work fortheir causes. It is certainly innovative because it allows the placement of opportunities onsiteand online, the only one that offers this type of volunteering. Also it is a pioneering toolbecause it has systemized online volunteering, a modality widely searched today by youngpeople, students and professionals who have limited time but want to give their voluntarycontribution. It is also recognized because it has the seal of approval of international bodies likeUNESCO and the UN, through its volunteer program, UNVolunteers. The Voluntários OnlinePortal has also been recognized by two important media vehicles in Brazil: Jornal Nacional fromRede Globo (Globo Network) and Veja Magazine from Abril Editor. www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  5. 5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJQ9-Mh850 4. The Online Volunteering in the Voluntários Online Portal The online volunteering is one of the differentials of the Portal. Since the period wewere studying the portals, we planned the possibility to implement and systemize it.Researches had shown us that since 2000 the UN Volunteering Programme – UNVolunteers –keeps a portal Volunteering.org.br that only offers online volunteering vacancies, and itsresults has shown how volunteers from all over the world can be engaged and make thedifference to the organizations around the world. This experience motivated us to make the www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  6. 6. online volunteering one of the greatest objective of the Voluntários Online Portal. The onlinevolunteering, also called volunteering without leaving home or virtual volunteering, is a waywhere the volunteer can collaborate with an organization without necessarily being present inits office. The online volunteering does not intend to substitute the actual and traditionalformat of onsite volunteering, but to complement it. The IVA, in a partnership with the UNVolunteers, received a volunteer from the programto study and to spread out the experience of online volunteering in Brazil through our Portal. Amanual was elaborated and several trainings have been carried out in Santa Catarina and Brazil.In these occasions some organizations have been enabled to work with online volunteers,showing them how this important support from volunteers can make the difference in theirprograms and actions. Thus, we are working for the implementation and settlement of a newtype of volunteering, trying to bring more people with differentiated qualifications, and tryingdifferent activities that can be carried out online. This way we are attentive to the results of thiswork and searching its adequacy to the reality of the organizations.4.1. Number of organizations that use the Online Volunteering Since the launch of the Voluntários Online Portal, in July 2008, 108 organizations hadthe opportunity to try the Online Volunteering as an innovative methodology to carry outvolunteer activities, involving and mobilizing people from all over Brazil in their differentcauses. These 108 organizations are distributed in 12 Brazilian states. Number of NGOs Number of NGOs using registered in the Portal Online Volunteering 491 108 www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  7. 7. 4.2. Number of vacancies chosen through Voluntários Online Portal The 108 Organizations that received the contribution from online volunteers madeavailable a total of 373 vacancies in the Portal. For these vacancies, we have had 15,310volunteer candidates. These are some examples: Organization Vacancy Position No. of Volunteers ABBA Promoção Social Translator for Portuguese / 5 Italian Project Associação dos Amigos do Journalist 16 Museu Victor Meirelles Instituto Arayara de Graphic Designer - Creation 1 Educação para a of Logo for the Local Sustentabilidade Development Project 5 - The Campaigns of the Voluntários Online Portal that leverage the volunteering The online campaigns are one of the main resources used by the Portal to mobilizevolunteers and disseminate good practices of volunteering. The monthly campaigns call peopleto embrace the causes in several areas: environment, health, education, human rights, amongothers. For each Portal’s Campaign, partnerships are established with national and internationalorganizations such as Grupo Hércules – Doações e Transplantes de Fígado (“Liver Donations andTransplants”), the organization Um Teto para Meu País (“A Roof for My Country”), the Civil www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  8. 8. Defense of Santa Catarina, UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme, among others. Thenumbers of the campaigns are displayed below: Number of Number of Number of Number of people Campaigns volunteering Volunteers who affected opportunities collaborated available 40 80 6,697 64,225 6. Portal Results – From July 2008 to July 2011 6.1 - Visits – 667,275 6.2 - Registered Volunteers – 34,816 6.3 - Registered Organizations – 491 6.4 - Volunteers that have chosen opportunities – 16,002 6.5 - Volunteers that have chosen online opportunities – 11,325 6.6 - Volunteers that have chosen onsite opportunities – 4,382 6.7 - Number of States with Registered Volunteers – 26 + Federal District 6.8 - Number of States with Registered Organizations – 15 6.9 - Number of Cities with Registered Volunteers – 1,441 6.10 - Number of Cities with Registered Organizations – 171 6.11 - Number of Mobilization Campaigns Made – 37 6.12 - Total number of Volunteers Mobilized by the Campaigns – 6,697 www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  9. 9. 6.13 - The profile of registered volunteers: www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  10. 10. OccupationEmployed www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  11. 11. 7. The new position of the Voluntários Online Portal in face of the changes in the role of internet and social medias in Brazil and in the World With new communication and information technologies, the social causes have gonethrough reorganization and diversification processes. The mass information evolved to a globallevel with the systematic use of Internet, and therefore new ways of articulation andmobilization of the society have appeared, pointing to the renewal of tendencies in the formsof collective actions. In this context, in July 2008 the Voluntários em Ação Institute launched the VoluntáriosOnline Portal, with the purpose to contribute with the dissemination of the online volunteeringin Brazil, and to increase the connections between people willing to help (volunteers) andorganizations in need of help (NGO’s and public schools). Nowadays, we act in a daily basis inthe main social networks. We are in Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Formspring, blogs, etc.We have a great interaction in these spaces, and thousands of people around the worldengaged in our cause and in touch with the Voluntários Online Portal every day. These spacesare used to identify creative opportunities of sympathetic participation, and to stimulate thevolunteer actions that respond to social requirements and needs. In our daily posts, we stimulate and contribute to consolidate the transformingvolunteerism culture as an expression of ethics, solidarity and social responsibility. Beyond that,we debate, inform and produce content about the world that we live in, and its transformationto the world that we want. Our main editorial goal is to connect the people with the world´sneeds, and consequently contribute with excellence to the development of volunteering ineach citizen, so they can be ready to be a transforming agent in the society we live in. Some of our numbers in the social networks: www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  12. 12.  3,213 followers in Twitter  3,493 tweets  1,100 fans in Facebook  Around 5,000 monthly visits in our Blog Regardless of our success in the social networks, we know that to increase oureffectiveness we must be in synergy with all the changes happening all the time in these spaces.Therefore, our next steps are concentrated in the creation of applications to increase our digitalpresence and tools that will help us in the retention, conversion and fidelization of ourstakeholder’s chain in the digital media. Get to know our social network channels: http://meadiciona.com/voluntariosonline www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  13. 13. www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  14. 14. 8. Partners of the Voluntários Online Portal The IVA accomplishes its work through financial, services and institutional partnerships.We value and are extremely grateful to these partners. All possible visibility is given to thosepartners who ensure the execution of our services. There are many partners who have alreadysupported us and many who keep doing this. Until now the Portal has counted on the financialpartnership of two master partners – Banco Santander and Tractebel Energia - and sevensupporting partners - Malwee Malhas, Magazine Luiza, Koerich Telecom, Sky Brazil ServiçosLtda., NeoWay Tecnologia Integrada e Negócios Ltda. (“Integrated Technology and Business”),and Google Portal. Due to business reorganization and even market issues, some of ourfinancial partners, during the course of the partnership, changed their support focus, which iswhy we are always looking for new partners who believe in our work. The service partners arecompanies and individuals who support us through services provided. There are many who helpus in funding and maintaining our organization through small services, including the lending ofthe room where we are based, electrical maintenance services, among others. The maininstitutional partners of the Portal are the UN Volunteering Programme - UNVolunteers andUNESCO, who approve our work. Since March 2009, thanks to the institutional partnership with the UN VolunteeringProgramme, the IVA has a Brazilian UNV volunteer, from October 2009 to May 2010 IVA had aSpanish volunteer, and from October 2010 to April 2011 IVA had another Spanish volunteer; allcollaborating in the dissemination and propagation of online volunteering services, performinga supporting work to the organizations in order to increase the use of this kind of volunteering,as well as to qualify other volunteer centers in Brazil, so they can also use volunteerwork systematically, and collaborate on improving the usage of this technological tool wehave. The volunteers receive a stipend from the United Nations for their maintenance inFlorianópolis. These partnerships provide the support for the achievement of our actions, aswell as the institutional approval of the Voluntários Online Portal, which ensures the integrity www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  15. 15. and reputation of our work, making the Portal sought by a large number of visitors andpotential volunteers. 9. Some testimonials from organizations that use the Voluntários Online Portal“I am from Fortaleza. I study Social Science at the Federal University of Pelotas, where I alsohave a scholarship in research, and work with the theme development and work.I always wanted to perform a volunteer work, but the opportunities had never suited to myavailability. Therefore, it was a very positive surprise when I found IVA. Not only because of theopportunity to volunteer online, but because the idea delighted me.I’ve been collaborating with the research of Brazilian NGOs and I love it, I recommend toeveryone that has some skill and available time to collaborate with one of the opportunitiesoffered by IVA and other institutions. You earn a lot in experience and satisfaction, besideshelping many people… It is really worth it!” Kamila Nascimento www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  16. 16. “I am very proud to be a volunteer trough the Voluntários Online Portal! I’m living in the UnitedStates for 10 years, and despite the distance, I always try to be close to Brazil.In 2009, I decided it was time to contribute with my little participation for a better country anddecided to look for opportunities of volunteering at distance. That was when I found theVoluntários Online Portal, and since then I’ve been volunteering as translator and reviewer.My volunteer activities are a perfect complement to the work I do for six years in public healthat the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, DC. I wish a happybirthday for the Portal and hope I can keep contribuiting for the mission of the Voluntários emAção Institute.” Caroline Ramagem www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  17. 17. "I decided to sign up for the Voluntários Online Portal just before my birthday, and as soon as Ientered the site, I immediately sent my information to the NGOs that needed a volunteer forarts / promotion / marketing. I received a call from the Asilo Irmão Joaquim (elderly shelter)exactly on my birthday, it was like a gift for me. I created all the layout for the campaign thatraised money for the installation of a physiotherapy room in the Asilo Irmão Joaquim.Even being an online volunteer, the exchange of information between Julia from the Asilo and I- and of course, the real interest in helping with the needs of the elderly -, was essential forthe deadlines, actions and my interest in being part of the team, even away, to work well.I feel part of the family without ever having known the Asilo, the commitment makes all thedifference and I am grateful for the opportunity, for the return and for the website thatprovided this magical experience for me. It is a work where all parties involved are essential, soI take this opportunity to congratulate the site, the Asilo and all the thousands of volunteerswho are in the country." Flavia Milanez Asilo Irmão Joaquim www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  18. 18. "The willingness to volunteer was always present, however I didn´t know if my skills would beuseful for any NGO. This year, I was fortunate to find the IVA / Santa Catarina. Through theirPortal (www.voluntariosonline.org.br) I knew I could contribute to some non-governmentalorganization. Their work is serious, organized and very present. On the site I found SIPEB –Associação de Instrução Popular e Beneficência (“Association of Popular Education andCharity”), which was searching for a professional to translate all marketing materials (website,brochure, etc.) to Spanish.I began my work in June/2011 and in the same month I had the opportunity to visit their officein São Paulo. I was very well received and the work started successfully. I hope to contribute alot. Being a volunteer is worth it!" Juliana D. Galvão SIPEB“The INAPE – Instituto de Astronomia e Pesquisas Espaciais de Araçatuba (“Astronomy andSpace Research Institute from Araçatuba”), in the State of São Paulo, needed volunteers forGraphic Designer and Cartoonist activities, both to be done online. These activities involvedvolunteers who did not need to go in person to the organization office in order to performtheir work, being able to do at their own home. For the Graphic Designer activity, the volunteershould create an identity standard for the Organization to compose the following graphicmaterial, according to the visual standard set by the NGO: letterheads for internal and externaluse, stationery for notes, envelopes, business cards for employees, headers for sendingstandardized e-mails and badges for the Organization employees.At the end of the selection process, the selected volunteer was Marta Loureiro, from Brasilia-DF. Bruno Xavier de Sousa, also from Brasilia – DF, was selected for the activity of Cartoonist.For this activity, the volunteer should create a mascot figure for INAPE and an entire fictionaluniverse, for future production of all kinds of materials with the mascot image (teddy bears, t-shirts, etc.) to be commercialized in order to ensure financial sustainability of the NGO. www.voluntariosonline.org.br
  19. 19. Through the Voluntários Online Portal, we were able to perform these activities with highlymotivated and responsible online volunteers in performing their tasks." Gustavo J. Moretti INAPE“The Instituto Arayara - Educação para a Sustentabilidade (“Araya Institute - Education forSustainability”), is another successful example of the work of the Voluntários Online Portal andof the team from Voluntários em Ação Institute – IVA. This Organization from Curitiba, State ofParaná, was invited to participate in the Portal thanks to an activity performed by onlinevolunteers from IVA, the “NGO Trainers”. This is a group of volunteers that, at long distance,are being trained to mobilize and register organizations so they can use the Portal as a tool torecruit volunteers.This activity had the support of numerous volunteers in several cities in Brazil. In Curitiba, thevolunteer Keyla Preuss conducted the training in the Arayara Institute and, in November 2010,they were enrolled in the Voluntários Online Portal. Since then, the promotion around theorganization’s projects and the consequent increase in the number of volunteers interested inworking with them has considerably raised:“With the inclusion and promotion of our organization in the Voluntários Online Portal, thedemand of volunteers online and onsite in the NGO has considerably increased. Until earlyNovember 2010, our reception to volunteers was conducted individually, and from the Portalwe have organized group receptions, a major step that we achieved with this partnership." Ligia Hoshiguti Arayara Education Institute www.voluntariosonline.org.br