I was having an interesting conversation yesterday with a nonprofit leader yesterday. We were discussing that one of the immense challenges of Covid for charities is utilizing volunteers. It's understandable. For many organizations, they've had to re-imagine programs utilizing a virtual format. Fortunately this enables them to continue their programming. But from a volunteer perspective, it does create some limitations in how volunteers can be put to work. While I've been a big advocate for not allowing Covid to be a maximum disruptor, this is an area where I see a clear change: it's not hard to understand that for example a volunteer facilitator on a virtual platform can handle many more participants than what would be called for in a live setting.
I believe it's more important to share the opportunity that came out of our discussion of this challenge. And it's this: Just because you can't immediately utilize a volunteer's talents and willingness to serve today, it doesn't mean they can't become an active part of your community. Create structures that can engage them until opportunities to serve are available. This could be a new Volunteer Leadership Committee. It could be a quarterly conference with your ED to keep them up to date on the valuable work your charity continues to do. These are just a few ideas that came out of this conversation.
Don't pass on a volunteer's willingness and eagerness to serve you and those you serve. Get creative and design opportunities that keep these folks engaged until you can offer them the chance to be of service