Giving Compass’ Take:
• Dan Corry, writing for NPC, reflects on the effectiveness and recent increase in volunteers due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
• How have nonprofit organizations benefitted from this increase? How can funders better support volunteers?
• Here are four ways to volunteer during COVID-19.
I have been taken into an optimist mode by the outpouring of volunteers in this crisis.
This outpouring of volunteers is very heart warming. It seems to tell us things about the way we could run society in the future if we could harness these impulses and organise ourselves in a more bottom up, community led way.
To really gain from what has happened, we need less of an attempt to resurrect the ill-fated Big Society initiative and more of a critical reflection on what has worked and what has not during this crisis, so we can think about how we keep the best of it.
Some questions are for the voluntary sector itself. Did many charities get an influx of volunteers? How did they handle it? What did they and the volunteers do? Will they stay? Specific to the crisis, how did charities with volunteering at their core, like the Citizens Advice Bureau, support volunteers to work at distance given issues of IT access and confidentiality?
Some questions are specifically for the NHS, although councils will have a massive interest in them too, not least regarding social care. How did the NHS Responders volunteering scheme go? How many of the 750,000 volunteers were used? What did they do? How did they find it? How do they feel about it now? What did the NHS really think of them? How did this link in with existing NHS schemes—often hospital based? Has this changed perceptions of volunteering over and beyond the NHS?
Some questions are more specifically for councils and other local actors. How did the mutual aid movement and support for things like food banks work? Where was it strongest? Who joined it and how diverse and additional to volunteering were they? Did they attract new people or were they the ‘usual’ kind of people? What did they do? Was it useful and additional? What were the issues—like safeguarding? How did they manage links with the statutory services and councils, and how did these work? What do they think will happen when the crisis is over?
Read the full article about COVID-19 volunteering boom by Dan Corry at NPC.
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