What is unique about VolunteerTalk?
As far as we know, VolunteerTalk is the world's first and only online discussion forum devoted to volunteers and various aspects of volunteering: not a blog where people may leave comments, not a specialized website (dedicated to some particular aspect of volunteering or serving some particular organization or niche) and not a forum limited to managers of projects and the volunteers who power them. We hope it becomes a general, open, online discussion forum oriented toward volunteers and volunteering. A place in cyberspace for the general international community of volunteers to come together to discuss issues of interest and importance to them in the context of an online discussion group, featuring whatever subforums for which there is sufficient demand.

Why was it created?
VolunteerTalk was created on the premise that a central online discussion forum, under one “roof” or “big tent,” with both a main forum for discussion of topics of likely interest to a large portion of the volunteer community and subforums to which visitors with specialized interests can jump, can create an overall synergy from which everyone benefits.

For whom is this forum intended?
VolunteerTalk is intended for everyone interested in matters relating to volunteering and volunteerism, regardless of whether they are currently involved in any type of volunteer activity. We recognize that there are many types of important, supporting roles that people may play, apart from active involvement as a volunteer. Individuals who are supporting family members in their activities, journalists who are helping to inform readers, volunteer resources managers who coordinate volunteers in agencies, teachers who are educating their students: Everyone can be a productive member of the international community of volunteers.

What can I do here?
You are encouraged to ask and answer questions, as well as share stories and information that will be helpful and interesting to others. You may either post to the general forum or to the appropriate special interest category subforum. You are also welcome to just "lurk," as you learn from what others are saying and enjoy the spirit of the community.

NOTE: Please keep your postings centered on issues related to volunteering. Share problems as well as praise or suggestions, by all means, but please do not use VolunteerTalk to complain or rant about specific organizations or individuals. When referring to organizations or real people, please maintain confidentiality and do not use full names.

What reasons would I have for participating in this forum?
First, to get answers to questions you might have relating in some way to volunteering. Second, to share your knowledge, receiving satisfaction from knowing that others will benefit. Third, to contribute to the cause of volunteerism, by helping to grow the community. Simply stated, to help to make the world a better place by joining forces in mutual support relating to the practice of volunteering.

Do I need to register in order to post?
Yes, you do need to register to post. We promise never to use your personal information or e-mail address in any way other than to communicate with you about VolunteerTalk. We will never sell, loan, or otherwise misuse our members’ information.

Is there any fee for registering or participating and will there ever be any cost or obligation involved?
There is no fee to register or participate and there will never be any cost or obligation involved.

Are registrations “moderated”? In other words, do I have to wait for my registration to be manually approved, in order to begin posting?
At this time, registrations are not being held for manual approval. If registration and posting by spammers becomes a problem, this may change. UPDATE: Because of a number of inappropriate posts, we have been obliged to change the system. Both registrations and posts are now moderated.

What kinds of material may be posted?
Anything on-topic and appropriate for the particular subforum in which the post is being made.

Are there any rules or guidelines about posting?
To make this forum of value to participants, we ask that people observe these four basic rules:

  • Be cordial and decent.
  • Keep posts on-topic.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of organizations and people other than yourself/your own when you share stories or issues.
  • Post anything of a commercial nature only in the “Products & Services” subforum.

Are you receiving financial support from any outside parties?
No outside financial support is being received at this time. Should we be given supporting funds in the future, we will disclose all such donors. At some point we may create a system to accept individual, voluntary donations, to help defray costs.

Do you have any kind of a newsletter or update to which I could subscribe on a trial basis if I were interested?
This is being planned for the near future. Like the forum, it will be free. If you sign up now you would receive any upcoming communication, with the opportunity to unsubscribe, of course, if you prefer.

Does VolunteerTalk have a presence on any social media?
You may currently find us on Twitter, as @VolunteerTalk.

Other than posting in the forums, is there a way for me to utilize this forum to get my message out about a volunteer-related organization or event?
We welcome guest blogs and articles, which will be posted in those areas and announced in the forum.

What if I have a commercial product to sell?
You may promote what you sell by sharing information only in the Products & Services subforum, please.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?
Feel free to send your question or suggestion to Forum @ VolunteerTalk. org (please remove the spaces inserted into the email ID for the purpose of thwarting the spam bots).