Supporting Volunteer Efforts During Coronavirus

By Betsy McFarland

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<p>Our thoughts are with every company and organization dealing with COVID-19 as information changes minute-to-minute. We are diligently working to compile a list of resources to help leaders of volunteers deal with this quickly evolving situation and we need YOUR help!&nbsp; We have started the list below.&nbsp;</p>

<h2>Share Your Resources</h2>

<p>If you have sample communications, tips, trainings, or other resources you are using, please share them through our <strong>Coronavirus Response form </strong><em>(no longer available).</em> &nbsp;If you have seen resources from others that you find helpful, let us know so we can share those too. We would love any and all suggestions.</p>

<h2>Resource Directory&nbsp;</h2>

<h3><strong><a href="/coronavirus-seminar">Coronavirus Response Seminar from Energize</a></strong></h3>

<h3><strong>Live Events and Free Classes</strong></h3>

<p><em>No longer posting</em></p>

<h3><strong>Public Health Resources</strong></h3>

<li><a href="">World Health Organization</a></li>
<li><a href="">US Centers for Disease Control</a></li>
<li><a href=" Government Dept of Health</a></li>
<li><a href=" of Health and Social Care</a></li>
<li><a href=" of Canada</a></li>
<li><a href=" Health Agency of Canada</a></li>

<h3><strong>Resources from Volunteer Centers, Associations, and Others</strong></h3>

<li><a href=" Engagement Covid-19 Response Guide and Tool Kit</a>&nbsp;from the&nbsp;Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA)</li>
<li>Volunteering New Zeland has a new <a href="">Resources page, including Pandemic and Virtual Volunteering resources</a>.&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href=" Virtual Volunteering During the Corona Pandemic</a> from the Israeli Volunteering Council</li>
<li>&nbsp;A Checklist to Help Keep Volunteers Safe -- the Do's and Dont's of Volunteering During the Pandemic, from&nbsp;The Israeli Volunteering Council</li>
<li><a href=" target="_blank">Checklist for Volunteering Using Virtual Channels</a>, from&nbsp;The Israeli Volunteering Council</li>
<li><a href=" Report on the Impact of Coronavirus on Volunteer Management and How Coordinators have Adjusted to Engage Volunteers Remotely</a>, from Track It Forward</li>
<li><a href=" Volunteers Safe poster</a> from California Volunteers</li>
<li><a href=" Volunteer Managers Can Respond to COVID-19</a>&nbsp;from VolunteerHub</li>
<li><a href="">Volu... Australia</a> has published the two following policy position papers in order to clearly articulate their position around a number of issues regarding COVID-19 and the volunteering sector:
<li><a href=" and National Policy Settings</a></li>
<li><a href=" Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations</a></li>
<li>VolunteerMatch created a <a href=" center</a> dedicated to volunteering and public service&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href="">Catchafire</a>&nbsp;offers an active virtual volunteer pool who can assist with time-sensitive requests and have shared examples of how a few organizations are already taking action</li>
<li>Volunteer Ireland shared <a href="">practical advice and guidance to help organisations and members of the public wishing to volunteer</a></li>
<li>Tips from the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration on <a href=";club_id=286912&a... Your Volunteer Program for COVID-19</a></li>
<li>Spark the Change Colorado offers Tips to Stay Healthy While Volunteering (no longer available)</li>
<li>Information from the&nbsp;Northwest Oregon Volunteer Administrators Association&nbsp;to <a href="">help its members navigate the impacts on programs and volunteers</a></li>
<li>American Association for Museum Volunteers (AAMV): <a href="">"Here are some things you can do as a volunteer manager during the COVID-19 pandemic"</a></li>
<li>Imagine Canada <a href=" resources and an advocacy letter to the Canadian Government</a>.</li>

<h3><strong>Volunteer Engagement Blogs</strong></h3>

<li><a href="">What to Say, What to Send: Strategic Communications to Volunteers Amid the Pandemic</a>, by VQ Volunteer Strategies</li>
<li><a href="">How to Engage Online Volunteers During COVID-19</a>, by VolunteerPro</li>
<li><a href="">Building a Sense of Volunteer Community During COVID-19</a>, by VolunteerPro</li>
<li><a href="">Volunteer Engagement Plan for COVID-19 Response</a>, a blog and template for any organization to use to develop a volunteer engagement plan in response to COVID-19, from VQ Volunteer Strategies&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href=" to (Quickly) Mobilize Volunteers to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising During COVID-19</a>, by&nbsp;Breakthrough Fundraising Group</li>
<li><a href=" &amp; Volunteers: Your Guide for Managing Uncertainty</a>, by VolunteerPro</li>
<li><a href="">Volunteer Engagement Amid a Pandemic</a>, by&nbsp;VQ Volunteer Strategies</li>

<h3><strong>Examples of How Organizations Are Responding</strong></h3>

<li>The City of Fort Collins, CO,&nbsp;created <a href="">a dedicated website to help the community volunteer&nbsp;in response to COVID-19</a>&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href="">Sample Operations Plan and Messaging</a> from HandsOn Sacramento</li>
<li>The Eden Project Communities in the UK, along with partners, launched this creative community action project to encourage informal volunteering to support people in communities effected by coronavirus:&nbsp; Community Action Response: Covid-19 (no longer available)</li>

<h3><strong>Taking Care of Yourself and Your Volunteers</strong></h3>

<li>The Mental Health Foundation of Scotland provides helpful tips in <a href=" After Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Coronavirus advice for volunteers - Third Force News</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Coronavirus &amp; Volunteers: Your Guide for Managing Uncertainty</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">We are Human, too | volunteerplaintalk</a></li>

<h3><strong>Leveraging Technology</strong></h3>

<li>Energize has a book on <a href="">V... Volunteering</a></li>
<li><a href=";">Tutorial on how to use Zoom</a></li>
<li><a href=" resources for planning online events and how to manage work from home.&nbsp;</li>
<li>The United Nations Volunteers (UNV)&nbsp;robust database of online volunteer opportunities allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device.&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href=" Strategies for Digital Learning Success</a>, by the Center for Creative Leadership&nbsp;</li>
<li>TechSoup offers <a href=" Resources for Remote Work During the COVID-19 Outbreak</a></li>
<li><em>No longer available </em>- Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching by The Chronicle of Higher Education &nbsp;</li>
<li>The following videoconferencing companies are offering free use of their tools in response to coronavirus:
<li><a href="">BlueJeans</a... responders and NGOs may have organization-wide access to BlueJeans for an initial period of 90 days, and BlueJeans may extend that term as needed.</li>
<li><a href=" Webex</a>&nbsp;is offering unlimited usage (no time restrictions) for up to 100 participants</li>
<li><a href="">Zoom</a> is proactively lifting the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for schools</li>

<h3><strong>Mitigating Risk</strong></h3>

<li><a href=" target="_blank">Coronavirus: What does my nonprofit's insurance cover?</a>, by California Association of Nonprofits</li>

<h3><strong>General Nonprofit &amp; Volunteer-Related Resources</strong></h3>

<li><a href="">Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resource Guide</a>&nbsp;from the Association of Fundraising Professionals</li>
<li><a href="">Resources to help nonprofits adapt and respond to COVID-19</a> from the Ontario Nonprofit Network in Canada&nbsp;</li>
<li><a href=" HR Coronavirus Digital Information Portal:</a>&nbsp;Information, Resources, and Evolving News for Social Impact Organization Strategies and Planning</li>
<li>Points of Light offers ideas for <a href=" Volunteering When You Can’t Serve In-Person</a></li>
<li>The Corporation for National &amp; Community Service has created a (no longer available) FAQ for Americorps, Senior Corps, and other&nbsp;programs</li>
<li><a href=" to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Resources to Help Nonprofits</a> by The Chronicle of Philanthropy</li>
<li>The National Council of Nonprofits led the effort to create this <a href=" supported community letter encouraging inclusion of nonprofits in the COVID-19 relief package</a></li>
<li>United Nations Volunteers (UNV) developed&nbsp;<a href="">Information for UN Volunteers and candidates</a></li>

<h3><strong>Resources by Organizational Mission</strong></h3>

<p><strong>Animal Welfare Organizations:</strong></p>

<li>Maddie's Fund has produced resources for setting up emergency (volunteer-based) fostering for shelter pets&nbsp;</li>
<li>The Humane Society of the United States and The Association of Animal Welfare Administrators created a&nbsp;<a href="">Coronavirus (COVID-19) Shelter Kit for Animal Shelters</a>&nbsp;that includes sample documents for expediting foster care volunteering. The Pima Animal Care Center shared a&nbsp;<a href=" they sent to all volunteers</a>.&nbsp;</li>
<li>The Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, DC, <a href=" out this series of emails to all volunteers</a> after a staff members was determined to have been exposed to the virus</li>

<p><strong>Faith Based Organizations:</strong></p>

<li>Repair the World and Amplifier produced this resource for community members seeking to help others: &nbsp;All People Are Responsible For One Another: A Resource on Caring for the Sick in Times of Crisis</li>
<li>From the CDC:&nbsp;Get Your Community- and Faith-Based Organizations Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 [No longer available]</li>

<p><strong>Food Banks:</strong></p>

<li>Our Response to COVID-19 and FAQ&lt;&gt;, Sacramento Food Bank &amp; Family Services (no longer available</li>

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Comments from Readers

Submitted on
Gerald (Jerry) ..., independent contractor, self employed, NY, United States

Thanks for posting this information. NYAVA has shared it on their Facebook Page as of yesterday and I shared in my blog post yesterday as well (my posts are shared on LinkedIn). Keep up the good work!

Submitted on
Betsy McFarland, Energize, Maryland, USA

Thanks so much, Jerry! We are pleased to hear you're finding this information useful. 

Submitted on
Sue Carter Kahl, Sue Carter Kahl Consulting, San Diego, United States

Thanks for curating resources in one convenient location! Thanks also to those developing content and hosting conversations and training! I'm sharing them with my local networks.

Submitted on
Betsy McFarland, Energize, Maryland, USA

Thanks Sue! We appreciate your sharing it and helping to add more resources to the list! 

Submitted on
Jayne Cravens,, Portland, United States

In addition to The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, which offers essential information for organizations moving their volunteer engagement online and is available in paperback from here: and electronic form here:

I have a blog on roles and activities volunteering-involving programs can launch RIGHT NOW for online volunteers.

Also, I give my permission for anyone to show my training videos, freely available at my YouTube Channel, at a workshop, conference or class related to volunteer management, volunteerism, or nonprofit/NGO/charity management.