Skip to main content

Using Virtual Communities to Support Volunteer Retention

Research shows that volunteers who have strong relationships with program staff and with other volunteers are more likely to continue volunteering in their role. However, with reduced resources and cultural shifts that make face-to-face activities harder to sustain, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of relatedness previously afforded to Extension volunteer programs. The advent of Web 2.0 tools offers staff an opportunity to support volunteers in new ways using technology. This session will describe a research study that examined the ways in which an online community housed in eXtension supported volunteer relationships. We will explore the benefit to contributing to the community through conversation and participating more passively through reading the conversations of others. Participants will learn about characteristics of volunteers who flourished in this environment as well as critical components necessary for a virtual community to be successful.

Download handout here:


Who Is Attending

Add Comment

Comments (0)


About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation is a non-profit designed to be the engine fueling U.S. Cooperative Extension’s advancement in making a more visible and measurable impact in support of education outreach from land-grant universities/colleges located in every state and territory. Extension Foundation is embedded in the U.S. Cooperative Extension System and serves on the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). The Foundation provides an array of opportunities for Extension professionals that foster innovation creation, the adoption of innovations at member institutions, and increased impact of Extension programs. This work is supported by your membership dollars and funding from USDA-NIFA, grant no. 2020-41595-30123. For more information on Extension Foundation membership, please visit You can also find our Terms of Servicee here

© 2021 Extension Foundation. All rights reserved.

Link copied to your clipboard.