We know there are 1000s of people that want to volunteer their time during the Covid-19 crisis. As the government maintains a lockdown on all non essential movement, charities can still benefit from this volunteer support by creating opportunities that can be done from home with a computer, smartphone or phone call.
You may deliver services remotely or be exploring ways to do this given the current situation - it’s the right time to develop this service model. Or you may need operational support that has previously been hard to find. Most operational support can be done from volunteers’ homes and there has never been so much availability of skilled volunteers. It’s a great opportunity to build long term volunteer partnerships.
Here are a few examples of service and operational volunteer roles:
- Advice - if your charity provides advice to people you could continue this during the lockdown with volunteer help. There are lots of useful tools to help you train volunteers online as well as connect them with your service users.
- Befriending - some of your service users may be feeling isolated due to the lockdown. A friendly chat or having someone to read to them could make a huge difference, so why not set up a telephone or digital befriending service?
- Campaigning - just because we’re all on lockdown doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to campaign for your cause. Volunteers could help with lobbying, writing to their MP, raising awareness and sharing information about your cause online.
- Communications - look for help to keep your charity connected to your teams and stakeholders. This could include setting up remote working and comms tools, developing your social media content, helping design publicity materials, or copy writing for blogs and articles. Some volunteers may even have PR skills so why not ask them to help raise your profile with local media?
- Digital development - many volunteers have the skills to help you update your website, design one from scratch, or help you to get your social media channels going. Now is a great time to develop your online presence.
- Fundraising - ask volunteers to promote your crowdfunding or donations page, a simple share to their friends and colleagues could result in your charity securing lots of donations; or maybe you need help with writing a funding application to one of the emergency funds that have become available? There are lots of volunteers with good sales skills that can help your application stand out!
- Professional help - many companies encourage their staff to volunteer, even more now they’re at home, so it’s a great time to ask them to help you with some of your professional needs. This could include reviewing or writing contracts, developing business or fundraising strategies, advising on HR and legal issues or helping with your accounting needs. Do IT has partnerships with a growing number of companies so we are well placed to help you find the skills that you need.
- Teaching - lots of tools exist that make it easy to teach classes or courses remotely, so you can continue to support your students with a team of volunteer tutors and assistants.
By enabling volunteers to help you virtually now, you’ll be able to keep vital services running as well as develop a pool of future help for when things get back to normal.