COVID-19: Engaging Volunteers - Level 3
COVID-19 is changing how we can engage volunteers in our services. As an NGO community organisation who involves volunteers in our service delivery, we need to ensure that we are operating in a manner that restricts the risk of transmission of COVID-19 for both our clients, staff and volunteers.
Communicating with your Volunteers
Communication with our volunteers is key to ensuring that we still have a workforce as we move through the COVID-19 government Levels. Continue to keep in regular contact with your volunteers to check on how they are getting on during this unprecedented time and keep them informed of your organisation’s progress in getting back to a new normal. At each level you will need new processes and different ways that your volunteers can get involved and support your services. Clear communication will help to remove the anxiety that volunteers may be feeling, and help you restore confidence through reassurance that you are doing everything possible to reduce risk.
Adapting your volunteering programmes
Volunteering Auckland recommends adapting your volunteering roles to minimise or remove face-to-face contact to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Adjustments to volunteering roles may include:
- Postponing volunteer work that cannot be done safely within COVID-19 requirements
- Moving volunteering online so volunteers can work from home
- Replacing face-to-face contact with telephone or online contact
- Ensuring volunteers keep a distance of 2 metres during instances of face-to-face contact
- Reducing face-to-face contact to less than 15 minutes
- Make the most of technology - see our article Technology Tips for NGOs
Once you have determined what opportunities can be safely offered please let Volunteering Auckland know by registering your role here. We continue to have many people registering to volunteer through our website daily.
Should I be asking my volunteers to continue staying home?
As a volunteer involving organisation, you should be making a decision that fits your organisation and the needs and circumstances of your volunteers. For example, if your volunteer workforce includes people in high risk categories (e.g. older people, immune compromised) then you may ask people to continue staying home until government determines it is safe to venture out and volunteer again.
Self care of YOU
One of the most important people during this time is YOU. If you do not take care of YOU first, you will not be able to take care of those in your care. It is OK to not feel right all of the time. It is OK to feel exhausted most of the time. Remember – we are not just working – we are dealing with a pandemic first on a personal level as well as in our work situation. Be kind to yourself. Kia kaha!
Resources for Leaders of Volunteer engagement
Volunteering NZ: Resources for Volunteer Involving Organisations
EnergizeInc.com: Articles to support volunteering during COVID-19