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Volunteerism worldwide: News, views & resources
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the World Volunteer Web?

The World Volunteer Web supports the volunteer community by serving as a global clearinghouse for information and resources linked to volunteerism that can be used for campaigning, advocacy and networking. It is an online hub where the community can meet, share resources and coordinate activities to mobilize volunteer action in support of the Millennium Development Goals.  

With a constituency comprising over 20,000 organizations and individuals, the World Volunteer Web helps to catalyze partnerships among volunteer stakeholders from all continents.

This website is also the global focal point for International Volunteer Day (IVD), celebrated around the world every 5 December.

2. How did the World Volunteer Web origin?

The World Volunteer Web was born as a result of the resolution (A/RES/57/106) passed by the General Assembly in November 2002, which "invites the United Nations Volunteers to develop a global Internet volunteer resource based on the International Year of Volunteers website and on national websites with a view to enhancing network capabilities and to expanding information, knowledge and resource management, and encourages Governments and all stakeholders, in particular the private sector, to contribute on a voluntary basis to this initiative"

More information about this website's origin is available in the Background page

3. Who owns the World Volunteer Web?

The World Volunteer Web is brought to you by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in partnership with the following organizations:

  • CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE)
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
  • Merrill Associates
  • Millennium Campaign
  • Portal do Voluntário

The website is administered by UNV from Bonn, Germany.

4. I've signed up to one of your email newsletters, but I'm not receiving it.

a. Do you use Hotmail or Yahoo webmail? If so, they are probably automatically sending our emails to your junkmail folder because they see they are sent to multiple addresses and assume they are spam.

  • Hotmail users should go to and click on Frequently Asked Questions, then choose the link saying: 'How can MSN Hotmail help me to fight spammers?' This will explain how you can set your own 'Junk Mail Deletion Options' to allow Guardian Unlimited emails to reach you.
  • Yahoo users should visit and click on the 'Bulk Mail Folder?' By following these instructions you can set up a filter to ensure our emails aren't sent to the Bulk Mail Folder.

b. Do you work for a company that filters or censors your mail? If so, they may have identified our emails as non-business-related and quarantined or deleted them. You might consider having a word with your IT administrator or setting up a web-based account.

c. Have you set up a spam filter yourself? Some of these will delete our emails.

5. I want to unsubscribe, but it isn't working

Check that the email address you're now using is the same as the one you signed up with. You can also email us at and ask us to remove you, mentioning the email address that you have used to subscribe.

6. I got a message saying I had been unsubscribed, but I didn't want to be

We will automatically unsubscribe you if our emails to you bounce back several days running. This is usually because your account has been cut off, your inbox is full, you haven't checked your email for a while, your server has been down for a long time, or it has been set to reject emails from If you still don't know why you were unsubscribed, email us at; we may be able to find out.

7. I want to change the address to which you send the newsletter

Change the email address that you have subscribed with by first unsubscribing with your current email address. Then, subscribe again with your new email address. All email newsletter and discussion forum welcome messages contain the information necessary for subscription and removal.

8. Can I reproduce some of the material from the World Volunteer Web on my website/ in my publication?

Articles may be freely copied, used on websites, or otherwise reproduced for non-profit or academic purposes, providing that the user acknowledges the World Volunteer Web as the source and includes its address ( If the article or document is from another website or organization, a link to that source should also be included. We would appreciate it if you notify us at when you plan to use material from this site or link to it.

For more details, refer to our copyright notice

9.Why can't I send an attachment through to your discussion forum?

We have specifically limited our discussion forum criteria. This is to ensure your privacy and safety online. An attachment that was unknowingly sent carrying a virus would disseminate the virus to ALL members of the forum. For this reason, we have limited our discussion forum to receive only simple text emails. Please summarise any document that you wish to refer to or, if the document is short, paste the document into the text of your e-mail.

For more such tips, refer to our good practices for discussion forums

10. How do I download documents from your site?

Most of the downloads available from our site are in portable document format (pdf). These files are universally readable on any platform but require a piece of software called Acrobat Reader. This may already be installed on many machines, in which case simply clicking on a pdf link should open the file. If you do not have Acrobat Reader on your machine, it is available from Adobe as a free download.

Wherever a link goes to a pdf document on this site, it will be indicated with a pdf icon or “pdf” text in brackets after the link, together with an indication of approximate file size. The time it takes to view or download a pdf is relative to the file size. You may either view a file within your browser (if your browser is already configured with the Acrobat Reader plug-in) or save a file to your hard drive. Saving a larger file to your hard drive might be the better option, particularly if you do not have a fast Internet connection.

To save a file to your hard drive, click on the link with the right mouse button (PC) and choose the "Save Link As" option. Then simply open the file from your hard drive.

11. I can't find the answer to my question here...

Email and we will try to help you.