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  1. CiviVolunteer
  2. VOL-233

Support "virtual" or "remote" volunteer opportunities


    • Type: New Feature
    • Status: Open
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Affects Version/s: 2.1.0
    • Fix Version/s: None
    • Labels:
    • Versioning Impact:
      Patch (backwards-compatible bug fixes)
    • Documentation Required?:
      User and Admin Doc



      Currently, the system supports creating volunteer projects which are not associated with a location. However, such projects don't have special meaning in the application. The need has been identified for "virtual" or "remote" volunteering. For example, an organization needing a volunteer for a 20-hour graphic design project may not care where she or he is located.


      Desired features include:

      • Volunteer coordinators can post opportunities that can be filled from anywhere.
      • When a volunteer searches for opportunities in her area, the results should be populated with "virtual" or "remote" as well as local opportunities.

      User Experience


      The volunteer opportunity search results table as it currently exists is pictured below.

      We came up with two ideas for how to present the "remote" opportunities to users:

      1. Display an icon or a label (e.g., "Not Location-Specific") in a new location column
      2. Display a separate table

      Our leaning is toward the latter. It seems easier for users to distinguish between the two types of opportunities this way. The latter option also provides an intuitive way to hide the "remote" opportunities if so desired: a collapsible table, perhaps with number of results in the collapsed table header.

      We are split on which set of results should be displayed first. The arguments for listing the local results first are that:

      • they are more relevant to users who have entered in location criteria, and
      • the volunteer experience can be a social one for many people, a benefit which is much more tangible locally than virtually

      We could make the order admin-configurable. Adding a setting for this adds a small but not insignificant amount of developer effort.

      For the multi-table layout to work, it is highly desirable to implement table paging first.

      Volunteer Coordinators

      When creating a volunteer project, the volunteer coordinator should be able to specify a location or not. The interface should make obvious to her that not specifying a location is the same thing as specifying the project is "remote" or "virtual."

      The interface as it currently exists is pictured below.

      Three options were presented:

      • Add a wizard step. A checkbox above the location field – "Can volunteers participate in this project from anywhere in the world?" – could be used to toggle the visibility of the location selection/creation fields appropriately.
      • Add an option (e.g., "Anywhere") to the location dropdown.
      • Add help text explaining the ramifications of leaving the location field blank.

      Miscellaneous Questions

      • What is the best way to describe this kind of volunteer project? The words we use may vary based on user (admin vs. coordinator vs. volunteer) as well as context (creation, search, email confirmation), but here's a list of possibilities: "Anywhere," "Done Anywhere," "Not Location-Specific," "Virtual," "Remote," "Global." Should we pick one of these (or other not-yet-made suggestions), or should we allow this to be configurable, so that each site admin can choose language appropriate to her use case?


        1. create.png
          32 kB
          Frank J. Gómez
        2. results.png
          55 kB
          Frank J. Gómez



            • Assignee:
              pittstains Frank J. Gómez
              pittstains Frank J. Gómez
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