Re-Inviting, and Reinvigorating, Your Volunteer Base
Volunteers are a vital resource for many non-profit groups and organizations, contributing to their success in many ways – from day-to-day operations to serving as board members. As groups and organizations continue to deal with the many impacts of COVID-19, a particular challenge is finding new ways for them to keep their volunteers engaged and active. A good starting point is to create a plan to outline how to keep volunteers engaged and ready to return as public health guidelines are updated.
As you prepare your plan, keep in mind the following:
- Which volunteers, if any, are essential to your operations today?
There are many day-to-day tasks that volunteers are able to assist with, especially those needed by organizations or groups that have little or no full-time staff. From answering phones to sorting mail, look at tasks that need to be done and identify which roles can be filled by volunteers.
- How can you ensure volunteer safety?
It is up to you to ensure your volunteer engagement plan aligns with public health orders and works for your organization and volunteers. Consider options that allow your volunteers to work remotely. For example, if someone is volunteering at your organization by answering phone calls, an option may be to call forward the office line to their home or cell phone so that they don’t have to come into a public setting. However, if volunteers are present, are you ensuring there is appropriate physical distancing?
- How will you provide orientation to volunteers?
Even long-time volunteers will need an orientation session about the new guidelines and policies that you implement. It’s important to think about what that orientation looks like, and how best to deliver it while adhering to your own new rules and guidelines.
While opportunities for volunteers have changed, there are still many opportunities to ensure that we can remain connected with our supporters, while providing them with safe and meaningful ways to help during these uncertain times.