Southern Utah

It stands to reason that just as giving has jumped on the online bandwagon, so too should volunteerism. And like e-philanthropy, virtual volunteerism offers opportunities and poses challenges to organizations employing it. Tiffani Hill, network volunteer coordinator for Best Friends Animal Society, an animal-welfare group that runs an animal sanctuary in Southern Utah, manages the organization’s virtual volunteer program, made up of a team of volunteers from across the country and Canada who post content to the organization’s Web site and monitor online forums, and serve as its local ambassadors. Hill says managing the virtual program is both exciting and scary. “I don’t

Best Friends Animal Society, located in the heart of southern Utah’s golden circle of National Parks, is home to as many as 1,500 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and other animals. For the past 10 years, the organization had been using the same acquisition package. Although it had done a great job, response rates were dropping, causing the donor file to remain flat.

The situation was dire: If a new package wasn’t created, the file actually would have started to decrease, which could have led to cuts in service.

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