Keyboard Roundtables

The Keyboard Roundtable is a format pioneered in e-Volunteerism to elicit a wide range of opinions on stimulating and critical topics.

Four to six individuals who are involved in the leadership of volunteers are invited to participate in a moderated online discussion (via a private listserv) concerning a topic of interest to volunteerism practitioners. Participants are chosen not only for their personal experiences relative to the topic of discussion but also for their potential contribution to the diversity of the perspectives of the virtual roundtable as a whole.

Discussions take place during a two to three week period. The virtual roundtables are commenced, gently moderated, and concluded by a Convening Editor. At the close of the discussion, the Convening Editor reviews all the contributions, edits them for readability and length, and ultimately creates a coherent and enjoyable transcript assembled from the best excerpts of the participants' offerings.

Why this Format?

The field of volunteerism is brimming with people who have extraordinary ideas, have done innovative things, and are cutting-edge thinkers. But not all leaders of volunteers are writers. Editors of all publications in the field of volunteer administration are constantly scrambling to find feature article submissions.

The editors of e-Volunteerism know that they cannot rely solely on formal manuscripts to disseminate the wealth of information available in the volunteerism field. Recognizing that leaders of volunteers are growing more comfortable with newsgroups, listservs, and social media, e-Volunteerism intends to make the most of this communication opportunity. Keyboard Roundtables are that opportunity! e-Volunteerism is delighted to be able to bring so many new people from so many different places to the forefront.

Your Role as Reader

Once the edited Keyboard Roundtable discussions are published in the journal, readers are invited and encouraged to comment upon the discussion and to add their own reactions to the points that are presented. In addition, the original roundtable participants have been encouraged to monitor reader responses to their offerings. At times, they may choose to continue the discussion by posting a response to a reader's comment.

Your Role as a Contributor

e-Volunteerism is always interested in new suggestions for Keyboard Roundtable topics and in individuals interested in participating in future roundtable discussions. If you have a suggestion for a roundtable topic or wish to be considered as a future participant, please e-mail us directly at