When we think of the digital nonprofit, are we thinking how to digitize everything? There is obviously a huge push for online donors.
What about volunteerism? What does that look like in a digital nonprofit?
We run a digital volunteer program out of there, to coordinate trained volunteers in helping members of communities that are affected by a disaster in real time. Red Cross digital volunteers help analyze trends and route actionable incoming information as well as engage with individuals who have questions, need a tip, or emotional support “digital hug”. The Digital Operations Center gives us the opportunity to track and figure out what the impacts of having digital volunteers is.We have about 200 trained digital volunteers. We had a pilot program in place for Hurricane Isaac, and then found ourselves doing lots of additional training during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. We now have a training process where we teach digital volunteers about the Red Cross, how to offer emotional support, how to correct misinformation, how to ensure correct information is spreading through the social web, and how to use the Digital Operations Center software.