Hello fellow NOVAA members! I am working on putting together a training/resource for VISTA AmeriCorps members that focuses on successful examples of service programming that have been able to pivot to virtual and remote volunteering in the last year, as well as some of the obvious hurdles folks have faced. I'd love to gather some more examples, if you have programs or partnerships that have gone well this past year!
A few key questions:
What programs were you able to successfully pivot to remote/virtual? What hurdles did you overcome to get there?
What do you think you will *keep* remote/virtual in light of lessons learned this last year, even as/when you open back up in-person engagement to pre-pandemic levels? What helped you make that choice?
For those who work with volunteers or communities without reliable access to internet, or others who may not be as computer savvy, how have you engaged volunteers remotely/distantly in the past year that doesn't require being at a computer? Would love to hear more examples of this! (e.g. friendly chat phone calls, distanced food box delivery, crafting cards or writing letters from home... what else has worked?)
Would love to hear some of your examples and happy to follow up to chat further. It would be great to have more organizations to highlight and cite as examples of folks doing great work on this topic!
Thanks so much,
I work for the City of Tualatin, and manage volunter programs in the Library. As a result of moving children's programs to a virtual platform, one component of that - craft activities - were kept "live" but packaged as "Take n Make" activities that are given out every day from the lobby where patrons pick up their holds.
We were able to engage many of our regular volunteers as well as new volunteers to help assemble the weekly activities. We would not have been able to offer the amount and variety of craft activities for kids, were it not for the volunteers who take home "Craft Prep" boxes, assemble the activity, and return them ready to go.
This way of engaging volunteers will continue and expand over the summer and probably into the fall as well.
Margaret Gunther CVA
City of Tualatin | Tualatin Public Library
We moved from having almost no virtual volunteer opportunities to having only virtual opportunities. In some cases we transitioned existing in-person opportunities to a virtual space. I believe some, if not most, positions that used to be in-person are likely to return to in-person eventually.
However, in looking at the needs of the organization and assessing new ways to engage volunteers virtually, we also developed a few entirely new virtual programs that we are excited to continue post-Covid.
Two examples of new virtual programs that will continue in the virtual space indefinitely are social media moderators and transcription editors (we are a public media organization).
Unfortunately, we have not yet found ways to engage remote volunteers who do not have access to internet. But we believe there will be long-term benefits to making our program accessible in the virtual space going forward.
Take care and be well,