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Optimizing Online Volunteer Resource Management in Times of Social Distancing

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Chui, Cheryl Hiu-Kwan and Chan, Chee Hon (2019). “The role of technology in reconfiguring volunteer management in nonprofits in Hong Kong: Benefits and discontents.” Nonprofit Leadership & Management 30 (1), 89-111.

Now more than ever, technology is playing an all-encompassing role in keeping nonprofits and volunteer programs going. While volunteer-matching apps and social media platforms have been around for a while, social distancing takes us to a whole other level in terms of technology use. In this issue of Research to Practice, Laurie Mook looks at a study of nonprofits in Hong Kong which explored in-depth how technology reconfigured their volunteer management. We focus mainly on the challenges these nonprofits faced to highlight the limitations and unintended negative consequences of going online. The study also suggests several ways to optimize online volunteer resource management, including how to engage your volunteers while programs are put on hold.