Nonprofits will have to decide how best to support those they work with. Some will be able to move away entirely from face-to-face engagement; others may find such engagement even more crucial at this time. In either case, we hope that the below suggestions will be helpful.
For those engaging in person (note: if at all possible, do not ask volunteers to engage in person)
- For organizations that require the help of volunteers in person, work to create a hygienic space, keeping surfaces clean, offering antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer, and maintaining six feet of distance between any two individuals within this space.
- Update liability forms and waivers to emphasize the risks associated with volunteering at this time.
- Deploy volunteers in limited and targeted manners. For example, space out shifts to leave enough time for a thorough cleaning between volunteers engage.
- Ask that any volunteers avoid engaging if they may be sick. Add registration questions and pop-up banners highlighting to volunteers the steps they need to take before engaging with their communities in face-to-face volunteering. Below are examples of questions as used by Mile High United Way on their GivePulse page:
Wondering if you should register to volunteer? Based on the CDPHE and the CDC, we are asking you the following questions.
- Have you or someone in your household traveled to a country on the CDC’s Level 3 watch list in the last 30 days? At this time, these include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. These may change. See the CDC’s guidelines for the most up-to-date list.
- Have you been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19? See the CDC’s risk assessment guidance.
- Do you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19? Symptoms can include a fever, cough or shortness of breath. See the CDC’s symptom information.
- Share the Volunteer Health Guide graphic below with your volunteers to help them to practice safe measures when volunteering.
For those seeking to engage virtually
- For organizations working with vulnerable populations who may have considered or decided to stop all in person direct service, we can help support shifts to digital work. Some virtual efforts that volunteers can help with include:
- Tutoring/mentoring virtually
- Helping with creation of educational videos that can be shared in lieu of in-person tutoring/mentoring
- Digital storytime (recording videos of volunteers reading allowed to share with families and organizations)
- Virtually connecting with vulnerable populations who may be lonely or anxious
- Researching grant opportunities
- Translating an organization's materials and information
- Content creation for an organization
- Sharing an organization's goals via social media/promoting peer-to-peer fundraising efforts
- Donating money and in-kind supplies and money
- Start fundraising campaigns and enable donations on your GivePulse page, and publicize these as an alternative to direct service. Volunteers who are looking for ways to help may be able to donate money in lieu of time.
For more information about our response to COVID-19, click here.