The Best Conversations in Volunteer Leadership Move from i-Volunteer to the New “ivo”
For some time now I have been impressed at the level and quality of the blogs and discussions across the pond in the UK via the social action platform, i-Volunteer.org,uk. A range of volunteer management practitioners use this forum to post thoughtful commentary, often on provocative themes, and – amazingly – other members respond in kind! Bravo to our British colleagues!
Right now there are several worthwhile discussions underway:
- Jackal’s post on “Indiana Jones and the Volunteering Crusade” is the discussion starter for today’s “Thoughtful Thursday” blog and Twitter round (use hash tag #ttvolmgrs and join in) – both fun and serious at the same time.
- JohnR’s post on “The Death of Volunteering?” has reopened the issue of whether avoidance of the word “volunteer” is a good or bad thing, especially in terms of government funding.
- Emma_C_Shelter looked at involving volunteers with a criminal record in “How to open our doors without leaving the security chain on...”
- Volunteering England, which posts to the site often, has just announced the publication of a new guide to help organisations address the issue of job substitution on its blog
As of April 20th, i-Volunteer is getting a facelift, a new name, and a new URL. It will re-launch as “ivo” at http://ivo.org. Current members will be able to log in to ivo using their current i-volunteer username and password, and all existing i-volunteer links, along with the home page, will simply redirect to ivo. All existing i-volunteer content, including wall posts, blogs and volunteering opportunities, will still be available on the new site. But lots of new functionality will be added.
Founder Jamie Ward-Smith, in an interview posted at UKauthorITy.com , said, “the site aims to connect people with voluntary opportunities and with each other, to share tips and experiences.”
“In less than two years i-volunteering reached 30,000 unique visitors with no marketing spend, through word of mouth and Twitter. We're all about individuals - ask anyone in the business of running volunteer projects and they will say the most effective way of recruiting is word of mouth."
The vision for ivo is to become the third big social network, he said: so if Facebook is for our social lives, and LinkedIn for our work, ivo would be for our community-focused, voluntary or non-profit work.
Many others have launched social networks with big plans to rival the giants, and failed... but if ivo does succeed, it will surely benefit all our communities - and you heard it here first.
While the volunteer opportunities on ivo will continue to be UK-based, the networking opportunities for those who lead volunteer engagement are open to anyone, anywhere. There are already Americans and Australians interacting with the Brits. Why not you?
Note that one of the most powerful features of i-Volunteer/ivo is that every member can write his or her own blog – for free – open to the type of discussion modeled by the sample posts linked above.
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