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Volunteer Today is looking for one or more authors to write about technical issues, computer or otherwise, in the volunteer management world. If you are interested in contributing or know someone who is, please contact our managing editor Nancy Macduff at: editor@volunteertoday.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

~ July 2007 ~ Topics

Up-Date on the Digital Divide

bullet Up-Date on the Digital Divide bullet

The Digital Divide is the gap between people who actively use modern information technology, the Internet, and those who do not. This divide is shrinking rapidly. Internet usage grew by 238% from 2000 to 2006.

Income influences access to the Internet, according to the US Department of Education. They report that only 37% of families with incomes below $20,000 have a computer at home. 88% of families with incomes above $75,000 have regular access to the Internet. s

Recent reports indicate that close to 50% of people volunteering got their information on volunteering from the Web or Internet, so the issue of access is important to those who manage volunteers.

  • At the end of March 2006, 42% of Americans had a high-speed Internet connection at home. That is up from 30% in March 2005.
  • Home broadband use among African Americans grew 121% in that same period. It went from 14% of adults to 31%.
  • Americans with incomes between $40,000 - $50,000 a year saw the fastest move toward high-speed Internet access. It leaped by 68%.

Source: Patrick Tucker (March/April 2007) "A New Ruler for the Digital Divide."

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bullet SurveyMonkey bullet

Managers of volunteer programs sometimes need to survey volunteers to make programmatic changes or enhancements. The mechanics of doing it can be daunting. Construction of the survey is fine, but how to distribute, how to tabulate add anxiety. Better to do nothing than have the program look foolish. Help rides in via SurveyMonkey.horn players image

Started in 1999, SurveyMonkey is an online survey tool that enables people of all experience levels to distribute surveys quickly and easily. For free an organization can send out a 10-question survey to 100 people and receive the results downloadable to an Excel database. And for $19.95 you can get lots more. If you are considering a survey in the future, visit this Website: http://www.surveymonkey.com/Default.aspx.

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