Pro Bono and Skills-Based Volunteering in a COVID-19 Era
Continuing skilled volunteering through uncertain times
I hope you're all well, healthy and finding ways to remain balanced in the wild situation that we're now all living in. I wanted to share with you a note Common Impact shared with its community last week (below), encouraging companies to continue their virtual pro bono volunteering from the safety of employees' homes. We're seeing our nonprofit partners immediately struggle from a loss of funding and volunteer service that they were relying on, and are encouraging the efforts that can happen virtually and safely to continue.
We've moved a few of our skilled days of service to a virtual model and they've worked very well! Platforms like Zoom and Matchbox allow for breakout sessions and collaboration that mimic in person gatherings.
I'd love to hear what this community has seen, and the resources or models that allow service and volunteerism to continue to be a reliable resource through these uncertain times.
Yours in service-
As news and anxieties surrounding COVID-19 spreads rapidly, Common Impact is working closely with our partners to ensure that their skilled volunteering efforts can continue while keeping volunteers safe.
The talents and expertise of the private sector are an enormous untapped resource in preparing our communities for natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, whether they be hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings or global pandemics like coronavirus. In times of crisis, it's even more important to invest in social sector organizations, which see demand for their services increase while many of the resources they depend on to deliver those services are at risk.
Last fall, we released Disaster Response - From Relief to Resiliency, an approach to cross-sector partnerships for disaster and crisis management. Now, with coronavirus shutting down schools, slowing business and disrupting travel, we want to encourage companies and volunteers to consider continuing their service efforts virtually. Skilled volunteering and pro bono — even event-based days of service — can easily be done from the safety of your home or office.
In a situation like this where physical threat and economic fall-out may go hand in hand, organizations can leverage skills-based volunteering and the continuity planning expertise of the private sector to develop resilient frameworks for internal and external crisis communications, operating with reduced or remote staff and the implications of domestic and international travel slowdowns.