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Shifting Trends in Volunteerism

Published: Feb 9, 2021 @ 10:45 AM

Like many sectors the pandemic is shifting the way the non-profit and charitable sector operate. One aspect of this shift that we are monitoring and most interested in, is the way organizations engage volunteers. Volunteer Canada recently published a report outlining some specific examples of how organizations are having to adapt during this difficult time, as well as the ongoing struggles many organizations are facing.

Some key findings from their report that stood out include the following:

  • Organizations are struggling to find the time to transition new volunteer positions to virtual positions.
  • Organizations are struggling to find enough staff to support their overall volunteer engagement efforts.
  • There are too many volunteer applications being submitted in comparison to open positions.

With the use of technology through the VolunteerConnector platform we are always trying to stay one step ahead of the sector to offer timely support. To support organizations that are struggling to find the time to transition new positions to virtual positions, we have made more changes to the volunteer posting page to make it easier for organizations to submit postings. There are tips along the side of the form providing support to organizations that are new to virtual volunteerism. We have made it easy so that organizations can break-up larger positions that were previously done in person to smaller positions that can be done by multiple people virtually. What is most exciting about this upgrade is that the VolunteerConnector is so well optimized online that we can guarantee organization will receive interest in their postings.

For organizations that are struggling to find enough staff to support their volunteer engagement efforts, the VolunteerConnector offers sophisticated software that is built on best practices to make it easier to engage, screen, connect, organize, and schedule volunteers. Taking advantage of all the features the VolunteerConnector offers will save organizations countless time and money.

Finally, to support organizations that are receiving too many applications from volunteers we have made changes to the platform so when an organization selects virtual in their posting their position will show up in communities outside their own. This is an amazing feature as it provides opportunities to volunteers in smaller communities who may not have a lot of active posting to choose from - meaning the volunteer can offer virtual support to other communities and then once this pandemic is over, they can go back to their in-person positions in their local communities. This is a win-win for organizations and volunteers, as organizations continue to receive the support they need while volunteers continue to be engaged in meaningful ways, which is especially important now. This also means that organizations that do not have the capacity to engage their usual number of volunteers, can feel less guilting knowing that there are other opportunities out there that volunteers can participate in.

To read more about Volunteer Canada’s findings you can find the complete report here: Volunteering Lens of COVID-19: Fall Survey Highlights or to learn more about the work we are doing to support communities through volunteerism reach out at info@volunteerconnector.org.