HOW TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN CORPORATE VOLUNTEERS DURING
The first wave of COVID shock has subsided, and yet nonprofits are on the front lines saving lives every day with food and basic human needs to people who never thought they would need it. Your reliable volunteer workforce is no longer available because they are most likely a vulnerable population and can’t risk exposure. So now what do you? You still need people to help distribute basic needs into your ever-growing need for support and to provide operational support.
Activate Corporate Volunteers
People are looking to feel connected to each other more so than ever in a time of forced social distancing. Companies are looking for ways to engage their remote employees, get some free media attention, and perhaps get some tax incentives for creative philanthropy.
There are now entire workforces who are now remote workers. Think outside of the box for creative ways companies can allow their workers to help your organizations. For example:
· Pro bono Virtual Volunteering — Can corporate volunteers donate their professional services for website design/maintenance, graphics, marketing, database design, newsletters, communication strategies, legal, etc? Make sure you track donated time and their hourly rate because this pro-bono work can be considered in-kind tax-deductible services to your organization.
· Virtual Volunteering — How can corporate volunteers help your clients virtually? Can they zoom call cancer patients who are not allowed visitors in hospitals? Can they write notes or letters to home-bound vulnerable populations? Can you match your client’s interests with the interest of corporate volunteers?
· Craft Volunteering -Can you ask corporate volunteers to make masks out of bandanas, t-shirts, and other clothes? Can you ask them to create kits or boxes that serve your community in the comfort of their homes?
· In-Person Volunteers — Can you provide safety equipment and protocols such as masks, gloves, handwashing stations, and safe distances to people who still want to help pack boxes for curb-side food distribution or other critical (and essential) program distribution?
· Volunteer Appreciation — Can you provide gift cards like grocery store or visa gift cards as volunteer appreciation to ensure their basic needs are met? Can you allow volunteers to go through the food and basic needs distribution line first as a way to thank them for their hard work and joining you on the frontlines?
· Companies’ Return on Investment — How you are showing the company that volunteering with you is a good use of their employees’ time? Can you give the company free earned media by tagging them on your social media, newsletters, or creating a hashtag? Can you ask the corporate volunteers to create a thirty-second video about their experience or the impact your work had on them? Can you ask the volunteers to share it, tag your organization, and their company? Can you share their video? Can you give the company an impact report letting them know how many households/families/pounds of food/boxes they distributed or other vital pieces of impact?
· Thank You — Make sure you take the time to thank people for their service, through emails, through social media, through newsletters. In this time of crisis, you may not be able to get people’s personal addresses, but if you do, write them a hand-written card and send it through the mail.
· Extensive Resource Guide — Here is an extensive Colorado resource guide to help individuals, businesses during the COVID crisis.
We are #inthistogether creating #exponentialimpact. Let us focus our efforts on #radicalcollaboration.
If you looking to get your company involved in the community or to get more ideas to recruit and retain corporate volunteers, I would love to chat. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org