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Distancing, Not Disconnecting – Maintaining Effective Volunteer Engagement

Volunteer Engagement

Even though some of your regular volunteer activities might have been suspended or modified because of the current need for social distancing, now can be a good time for other volunteer-engagement opportunities that will be productive both now and when we return to more “normal” times.

A recent survey by VolunteerMatch confirmed that volunteers still want to help the organizations whose missions they support. They just need the right tools and assignments. Volunteering helps provide a sense of purpose now, as it always has. It’s a great stress-reducer and isolation-reducer, too, which many people want now more than ever.

VolunteerPro recently conducted a free “master class” Webinar titled “The Shelter-In-Place Volunteer: Don’t Let Your Supporters Be Sidelined By COVID-19.” Click here for the recorded version; email volunteers@visvolunteers.com if you would like a PDF of the accompanying workbook.

As Tobi Johnson of VolunteerPro points out, if the phone is not ringing constantly, it can be a great time to focus on program development, problem-solving and setting priorities from your wish list. With social distancing in place, this also is a good opportunity for activities that can be done remotely by qualified volunteers, such as:

  • Reaching out to clients and supporters in low-tech ways; e.g. personal notes and phone trees
  • Conducting surveys and focus groups on specific issues
  • Contacting elected officials to advocate on issues important to your nonprofit
  • Updating the messaging you use in your communication program, about your activities
  • Designing or redesigning your marketing materials, Website, etc.
  • Crowdfunding
  • Social media
  • Pro bono legal work

Key questions: What talents do we need? Doing what? For which departments? When and for how long?

The Webinar also references a number of free or inexpensive tech tools for remote communication and collaboration.

Related: You can reduce your insurance premiums now if your revenue and/or payroll have been reduced due to COVID-19.

About VIS

Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. (VIS) was established in 1972 for the purpose of providing insurance and risk management services for volunteer-based organizations. In addition to still providing these insurance services today on a nationwide scale, we have expanded to provide noninsurance resources for members to manage their risks and improve their operations. By transferring the volunteer risk exposure to our program, we can help you protect your organization. Contact us today at (800) 222-8920 for more information on our programs and services. Join now!