Internet Communication: Does It Strengthen Local Voluntary Organizations?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Sociology 
Does communication through the Internet strengthen local voluntary organizations? This question is investigated by analyzing sustainability, vitality, and the use of the Internet by Norwegian local voluntary organizations. Using quantitative data, analyses show that the use of the Internet by Norwegian voluntary organizations is widespread. Primarily, organizations appreciate the technology for its one-way aspect of communication and information distribution, rather than for aspects of many-to-many communication between organizations, members, and volunteers. Using data from two points in time, analyses show that organizations using the Internet have had a higher probability of achieving organizational growth than those who do not. Furthermore, these organizations are also more likely to hold internal meetings and to arrange other face-to-face activities. This article therefore concludes that rather than replacing traditional organizations and face-to-face activities, the Internet may strengthen their sustainability and vitality.