Giving Compass' Take:
- VolunteerMatch shares survey results about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed volunteering and suggests virtual volunteering opportunities.
- Are you ready to engage in virtual volunteering opportunities?
- Learn how to begin volunteering virtually.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
During an interactive Webinar that we hosted on March 24th, we polled nearly 800 of our constituents with questions on how COVID-19 is affecting their organization.
1. How concerned are the nonprofits? When we asked nonprofit employees how concerned they were about the current environmental, economic, and social conditions impacting their volunteering programs or individual volunteers’ activities, 75% of them responded that they were very concerned, and 23% said somewhat concerned. Thus, 98% of the nonprofits surveyed had moderate to severe fears about their volunteer programs. Indeed, there is cause for concern. Nearly threequarters of nonprofits polled as having heavy cancellations, and the last quarter as having some. A decrease in volunteers can have drastic effects on a nonprofit’s ability to operate. The vast majority, 98% of those surveyed, worry about executing against their current budgets.
2. How have the current environmental, economic, and social conditions impacted your volunteer attendance?
3. How is Volunteering Changing? The current crisis compels us to think differently about our own volunteering. Half of the respondents who were volunteers answered that they want to help in-person and would like ideas on how to do so, while (44%) are comfortable switching to virtual volunteering. Around 10% were considering shifting their giving from time to monetary donations. We also learned what the greatest barriers to volunteering were with 43% of respondents citing the recommendations against gathering sizes as the greatest deterrent. Only one-fifth of respondents felt as though there were no barriers to volunteering, and that they were clear on how they can continue to give their time.
Virtual Volunteering Opportunities:
We also see nonprofits developing workarounds for volunteer opportunities that cannot be made virtual. Organizations are mobilizing their existing volunteer force to respond to new needs in the community — like running errands and delivering groceries for neighbors that need to stay fully isolated. One Volunteer Coordinator for Americorps wrote in the Slack group, “Our upcoming opportunities are social distancing friendly--doing yard work and. mowing lawns for seniors.”