Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are four ways that organizations can follow to ensure they are implementing the best practices to keep everyone safe and protect volunteers. 

• How can donors help nonprofits reopen smoothly? 

• Learn more about how philanthropy can bolster nonprofits in times of crisis.

What should volunteer engagement look like as we move forward with the next phase of COVID-19 response? While things are opening back up, we are not just returning to life as it was before March. What should we consider before inviting volunteers to return, and how can we ensure that we’re doing our best to protect our volunteers, our clients, and others in our organization?

  1. Update Your Policies Ensure that volunteer staff are included in your organization’s reopening plans. What policies will apply to volunteers, and are you following all of the current (or future) CDC best practices for reopening?
  2.  What Do Your Volunteers Think?  Get a sense of what your volunteers are worried about, or what they need from you, before they come back. A survey, facilitated conversation, or focus group can be a great way to identify volunteer concerns or needs. Include information on what you anticipate volunteering to look or feel like – would you be comfortable volunteering with clients while everyone wears a mask?
  3. Respect And Enforce Boundaries Sometimes we need to ensure that our volunteers practice good self care.
  4. Build On The Progress We’ve responded with Zoom meetings and virtual volunteer opportunities. Now is the time to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and build more flexibility into our volunteer opportunities and engagement strategies.

 Read the full article about preparing nonprofit organizations to reopen by Jennifer Bennett at VolunteerMatch.