Steps to Take for your Volunteer Program
While there continues to be many unknowns about COVID-19 we know that our volunteer community is impacted and we are here to help. The following are actions to take to ensure that your volunteers and volunteer programs are as equipped as possible for this time.
- Be sure you and your volunteers are operating under state and federal guidelines. These guidelines are changing rapidly and it is important to check in often for updates. Be sure you are familiar with your workplace plan and that it aligns with the guidance being issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Become familiar with the plan and how volunteers are engaged throughout a plan.
- Follow the guidance of the CDC and advise safe health practices regarding COVID-19.
- Prioritize volunteer and client safety. Know the key requirements for continuing interaction between volunteers and vulnerable clients, take all recommended precautions, including gloves, masks, frequent hand-washing, etc.
- Be sure volunteer concerns can be addressed during these restricted access times and that communication documents are updated appropriately for your volunteers in the field as supervisors may change.
- As executive orders are issued nationally and by state, workplaces may be closed and remote work may become an option where it wasn’t before.
- Respond to the workplace volunteer shortages. With so many of our local agencies having volunteers on leave of absence please do what you can to keep them engaged. Now is a great time to refer your volunteers for continued service to other agencies that are active and open and in dire need of volunteers. Trust us, your fellow volunteer managers will remember you did this!
- Postpone large-scale volunteer events or trainings scheduled for the next few months. City of Tucson has already requested events of 10 or more be postponed.
- Support social distancing efforts by avoiding crowds and events which helps “flatten the curve” of the virus and helps keep cases within the capacity of our hospital system.
- Continue to help counter stigma and discrimination in our community. Engage with stigmatized groups and speak out against negative behaviors.
Information was adapted by our fellow association, the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement, thank you!
To view the previous message sent out, click on the following link: March 13th Message from Leadership
Edit for your organization in communicating with your volunteers.
- Stay home if you are sick. Individuals who arrive on site with symptoms will be sent home. Outline a clear system for getting in touch with you/the organization when cancelling a shift.
- Please take all necessary precautions if you are immunocompromised, or live with/care for someone who is immunocompromised. Message for volunteers, “We support your decisions, including and up to a decision to temporarily suspend your own volunteering during this uncertain time.” .
- We are implementing a no touch policy at our organization while COVID-19 remains a threat. Please do not shake hands, hug or have other physical contact with staff, volunteers or clients. We recommend waving or verbally greeting people instead.
- Please thoroughly and frequently wash your hands, and follow other guidance provided by the CDC around disease containment.
- Our office will be observing social distancing guidelines. This includes work spaces, and shared transportation.
- We ask that all volunteers wear a mask to limit the spread of asymptomatic carriers.
- We will be staggering work schedules to limit social distancing risk even further. Social distancing means keeping no less than 6 feet from you and any person with whom you do not share a home.
- Work remotely where possible, [explain how you will provide support, training and resources].
- [Offer additional information on if and how your organization’s services will be impacted as it becomes available.]