25 May 2021 | 2 min read
BACK TO BASICS #6 - REMOTE VOLUNTEERS
The pandemic served as a pressure cooker for remote work. We got used to video conferencing, cloud-based file keeping, and online collaboration in a short period. Post-pandemic, we’re learning that many of the tasks we traditionally assumed had to be in-person can be done remotely.
The face of volunteering is changing. Volunteers are global, mobile, and bring marketable skills to the brand. More and more, we are seeing volunteers donate specific skill sets like graphic design, business, law, medical, or photography to their favorite nonprofits. And they don’t even need to be in the same city to get the job done. Here are three tips to get the most out of the new remote volunteer trend.
1) Offer remote opportunities
This may seem obvious, but many organizations still haven’t made remote work available to their volunteers. If the remote trend looks a little daunting to you, start small. Offer one or two tasks that volunteers can do virtually. Assignments like managing a social media account or data entry can be easy projects to kick off your remote team.
2) Streamline the onboarding process
A lot of volunteer teams still rely on paperwork to onboard new members. But in the post-pandemic world, the move toward a streamlined process will be an absolute necessity. This article by Fast Company offers excellent insight into onboarding virtual team members. Their list includes great tips such as creating onboarding cohorts, making orientation reflective of your culture, pairing new members with current volunteers, and having one-on-one check-ins with managers.
3) Keep them engaged
We talked about retention recently on the blog. And if you thought it was challenging to keep physically present volunteers feeling connected, you have a big surprise coming when it comes to virtual team members. Feelings of isolation and disconnectedness are big hurdles when dealing with remote volunteers, so you’ll need to put in some major effort. For ways to keep your remote team engaged, read our articles on virtual team building and virtual volunteering.