Giving Compass' Take:

• Darcy Hughes shares learning from surveys of nonprofit staff and volunteers about volunteering during COVID-19.

• How can funders support nonprofits and volunteers during this crisis? Do organizations you work with need volunteer support during this time? 

• Learn about opportunities to volunteer during COVID-19

During this time of unprecedented environmental, economic, and social challenges, the VolunteerMatch team took a human-centered design approach to crafting our response to the COVID-19 crisis.

One of our first acts was to establish a series of listening posts that could help us understand the needs and concerns of our diverse constituents.

During a two-week period in March, we effectively turned our public website at into a listening post, and were able to channel over 1000 of our core community members—including nonprofit leaders, socially responsible businesses, and do-gooding individuals— directly into a quantitative survey tool. Participants from all these sectors responded to tell us more about their experiences.

1. COVID-19 Surfaces Critical Training, Business Continuity Needs For The Nonprofit Sector

The high demand for services, paired with minimal resources, is a serious dilemma for nonprofits all around the country. Their leaders worry about the people they serve, layoffs, and how to fundraise without the menu of events typically available to them.

2. Socially Responsible Businesses Are Embracing A Pivot From In-Person To Virtual Volunteering

Nonprofits are turning to their for-profit partners during these stressful times.

3. Volunteers Want To Serve Safely — Both Virtually And In-Person

Volunteers expressed a need for options during this critical time in our history: they want to both to help others and stay safe themselves. Despite a natural concern around illness — either passing along the virus or falling victim to — many of our respondents expressed a strong willingness and desire to serve in person.

4. The Only Way Forward Is Together

When we look to our nonprofits, we understand their primary concerns span the entire volunteer life cycle: from engaging and recruiting volunteers, to surviving financially while traditional fundraising events are on-hold indefinitely.

Read the full article about volunteering during COVID-19 by Darcy Hughes VolunteerMatch.