Volaby Voice Series:

Volunteer lockdown recovery (Part 3)

Part 3: Ignite & maintain the momentum! 

{read time: ~ 5 mins}

Welcome back to the Volaby Voice’s “Volunteer Lockdown Recovery” series – Part 3 (the finale!).

If you missed parts 1 and 2, here are the links in case you might like to go and catch up first:

Part 1: Understanding your challenge first!

Part 2: Evaluating Responses & Crafting Your Risk Matrix!

In this edition, we will use our findings from Parts 1 and 2 to help us create some quick wins to help get our operations/volunteers up and running again whilst maintaining that momentum towards whatever the future has in store for us.

Once again, all organisations will have differing types responses from their surveys and as such will have varying requirements for their respective volunteers and operations (so best to think about how your audience would prefer to be engaged with). Nevertheless, here are 3 suggested ways of igniting and maintaining the momentum of your volunteering operations post covid again:

1. Get the word out & let it be known your organisation is ready for what’s next!

There are multiple groups of stakeholders that engaged with a volunteering organisation at any given time, so when we need to introduce something new or educate them on any changes it can pay to focus on repetition, repetition, repetition! What can make this more effective is if it is also short, sweet and to the point!

An example of this could be to create a super simple and easy-to-remember image that can be posted to your volunteers a couple of times a week (for a month or so) through mediums like Facebook pages/groups, newsletters or even physically on a poster at your location(s). We have included a preview of this below, and a free template to download and make your own at home! (click here to download)

2. Make it fun & Engaging!

Following on from the previous point, we all know volunteers have A LOT on their mind – so at times they can tend to forget things (understandably so!) – no matter how clear we think we have explained it. So it might pay to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to inform/educate your vollies so the message lasts!

For example, here is an interesting article on “How to retain 90% of everything you learn” that talks about different method of interpreting information and the level of effectiveness of each. One powerful example we have seen work well combined a couple of these points (namely “practice what they learned”, and “engage in group discussions”) by conducting an online trivia afternoon with their organisation. This is super simple and can be a fun and engaging way to educate and test how well the team(s) remembers these new changes. You could facilitate something like this on a standard ZOOM call, then share your screen to a simple trivia-style platform with questions you have prepared – Sli.do is a fantastic example of this and something we use a lot (plus it’s free!). Here is where you can ask questions like:

  1. How many levels are there?
  2. How will you know what level we are currently on?
  3. What do we need to do when we are on level 3?
    and so on… 

As always, it’s great to have something to entice people to join such as a prize or a gift (obviously only something you are able to afford to give). Lastly, it’s always best to consider your audience and when the best time might be to engage. Would they be more likely to join in a lunch session on a Friday to wind down from a week? Or if most are busy working, would it make more sense to run it after hours at say 6pm on Wednesday evening?

3. Pulse checks – keeping your finger on it!

Now that you have ‘opened the doors’ again > issued the call for volunteers to return & operations to get up running > as well as broadcasted all the new changes to help keep the ship afloat – the next step will be to stand back see how it is running, then pulse check how all these new changes have effected your return to operations.

Depending on what you might use to keep track of volunteers and their activity, it might be worth reviewing items like:

  1. What % of volunteers are returning to your operations?
  2. What % of volunteers are now new to your operations?
  3. Is there any reason why there might be volunteers who chose not to return?
  4. Are any of these reasons in your control or influence? 
  5. Is there something that new or existing volunteers are still hesitant of that you can improve on and to build their confidence?

Similar to Part 1 of this series you can either find this information by asking your volunteers first hand, or perhaps running ‘pulse’ surveys once every couple of months to check-in and see how things are progressing and/or how people are feeling using tools like:

For those of you using Volaby: You can review the amount of activity your volunteers are creating in your impact dashboard, as well as monitor your incoming volunteer database and the timeline in which they applied/joined!

Please note, the contents in this newsletter/blog series (and all other Volaby Voices, both past and future) are meant to be taken as purely an idea or ‘food for thought’ that hopefully becomes of use/value to our readers and volunteering organisations. We encourage all of our readers to make sure they take this content as purely ‘thought-pieces’ and that they take the proper actions/precautions to do what is right and appropriate for their organisation.  

We hope you enjoyed this 3 part series, if you have any comments or feedback, we would love to hear them – please click here to provide feedback.