COVID-19: Preparing for the next "Normal"

29 Apr 2020 | Articles

COVID-19: Preparing for the next "Normal"

As social and community needs increase and, in turn, impact on the community sector as a result of the economic effects of Covid-19 our Leaders of Volunteer Engagement, business volunteer champions and leading CSR staff are needed more than ever.

Greater engagement with business, government and the NFP sector is needed as we seek to utilise and leverage our resources with increased collaboration across New Zealand.

We have an opportunity for increased cross sector engagement and building stronger partnerships to increase our effectiveness and ability to respond to the potential scenarios that may unfold over the coming months.

A recent report from Deloitte states we can only work in scenarios in the current global context.

What is the impact for the community voluntary sector? Potential loss or decrease of our senior volunteer workforce? Relevant voluntary opportunities and roles with increased social distancing? More digital virtual and micro volunteering opportunities? Decreased or realigned fundin? Increased social service needs and much more?

We need to be agile and responsive to the changing economic environment and the resulting social needs which will impact on the community voluntary sector. We can also learn from our initial experience of lockdown and seek to improve our remote working capability and innovate around fulfilling our social responsibility goals and increase cross sector engagement between business and NGO community organisations.

What is the impact for corporate social responsibility? Will the business sector continue to fund discretionary voluntary activities with paid volunteering leave, team volunteering days? There are challenges ahead with rising unemployment, more pressure on bottom line profit margins, tightened cash flow and reduced budgets.

As we reflect on what our new “normal” could look like, think about – what type of community or world are we preparing for? Are there scenarios we are ignoring or hope won’t happen? What do we need to do differently in order to have a community that has the best interests of our people and environment at its heart? What do we need to learn more about – capabilities, partnerships, strategies?

Will we see a shift towards greater corporate social responsibility, with long-term outlooks leading to greater emphasis on investing in workers and community?

Its in our hands!

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker.


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