There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a level of disruption that no charity could ever have predicted.
As face-to-face events were cancelled, key members of volunteer teams have seen untold disruption. Whether personnel have endured lockdowns or been advised to shield, pandemic restrictions have largely changed the way volunteers support charities across the globe.
As fundraising activities navigate towards a new normal, processes for many post-pandemic charities have had to adapt. Here are our recommendations for building and engaging a team of volunteers post-covid.
While volunteers are unpaid, their contribution is essential. Volunteers must be treated like every other employee. They should agree to a code of conduct, understand their deliverables and represent the charity like any other employee.
3Utilise skills appropriately
All volunteers have a personal or professional motivation for providing their services. Identify a volunteer’s objectives to utilise their skills to get the most out of their contribution. For example, if a volunteer wants to keep active in retirement and meet lots of people so they were previously on your events team, moving them to an office environment to help with administration might not be the most appropriate use of their skills. Getting the best out of the team involves identifying their skills and matching the roles to keep them motivated.
If you don’t have enough volunteers to carry out needed tasks, consider recruiting more specifically. The volunteer team should support charity operations. Being unable to utilise skills appropriately can be more of a hindrance than a help.
Acknowledge volunteer support
If someone chooses to give their precious time to support your mission, this deserves to be acknowledged. Utilise the website and social media platforms to highlight individual and team volunteer support. Volunteer support should be acknowledged like any financial gift. Consider a ‘volunteer of the month’ program or implement a regular communication schedule to build the relationship and keep supporters engaged.
International Volunteer Day and relevant celebrations within the sector are an excellent opportunity to hold events or publicly thank a volunteer team.
This year has been one of the most challenging in many fundraisers’ careers, but every team member should acknowledge volunteer support at every opportunity. Where face to face contact is possible, this can be as simple as stopping to chat for five minutes on your way into or out of the office. Where volunteer support is remote, this should be online, via email or by picking up the phone. By showing your appreciation for the team, you will keep them engaged whatever the charity faces.
SupporterHub can help you engage with a team of volunteers to further achieve your mission. To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level, book a demo