Article 4, COVID-19 Blog Series
by: Amanda Mckee, Spark the Change Colorado.
As things are beginning to slowly open up, organizations may begin to shift back to in-person volunteering. The safety of volunteers must be an essential consideration when changing volunteer opportunity type. Depending upon volunteer comfort level, virtual and at-home volunteer opportunities should continue to be offered by organizations.
Points of Light put together a helpful resource with recommendations and best practices around how and when to bring back volunteers.
If you are a volunteer, Points of Lights offers the following:
1. Stay in the know. Keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 related news. Be in contact with the organization, especially since things may change from one day to the next.
2. Understand the risks. Know what you and the organization can do to mitigate risks associated with the opportunity.
3. Are you healthy enough to volunteer? It’s best to be cautious. If you are showing any symptoms or have come into contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should not volunteer and you should stay home for the safety of everyone.
4. Follow health and safety protocols. Follow the advice and guidance of staff or local teams at all times.
If you manage a group of volunteers, Points of Light offers the following:
1. Update safety protocols. Review restrictions within your city/state municipality. You should also consult your insurance or legal counsel to update liabilities in your volunteer waiver.
2. Volunteer management is key. Develop clear role descriptions, update training materials, offer support to volunteers to answer questions or concerns, and keep volunteers up-to-date with the latest news from your organization.
3. Engage your volunteers. Create an inclusive space for volunteers and employees. Create opportunities to bring everyone together, and this could even be done online.
4. Manage volunteer stress. Be mindful of the stresses associated with times of disaster.
5. Document all your work. Make sure you take the time to document everything in case you or someone you work with needs to access it in the future.
6. Share best practices. We can learn from one another.
This blog series provides organizations a way to share best practices and what we have learned during this time. If you would like to share, please contact us here.
For the full Points of Light resource, click here and then download the provided PDF.
To learn more about Points of Light, click here.
For more tips and resources around volunteering during COVID-19, visit our website.