Volunteering During COVID-19 for Nonprofits

Topics: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Like other industries, nonprofits been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to Philantrhopy.com, nonprofits are reducing some services, limiting employee travel due to stay at home orders, expanding work from home opportunities and taking other steps to protect their staff from the spread of the virus.

Nonprofits are one of the largest industries in the U.S. with 12.5 million employees, just below the retail and hospitality industries. There are over 1.56 million nonprofits registered with the IRS, contributing an estimated $985.4 billion to the U.S. economy. Most nonprofits are staffed with a mixture of volunteers and paid staff.

How are Nonprofits Keeping their Staff and Volunteers Safe During COVID-19?

The National Council of Nonprofits has created a coronavirus resource page for their members that lists recommendations for nonprofits during these uncertain times, including:
  • Be transparent: Provide open and transparent communication about business hours, event cancellation, or temporarily closing with boards, employees, volunteers, donors and the people who receive your services.
  • Review sick leave policy: Enhance the flexibility of your sick leave policy to give comfort to all employees if they require time off.
  • Update your business continuity plan: If you have a business continuity plan, now is the time to review and update the plan and share it with boards, employees and volunteers.
  • Set up virtual events: Instead of face-to-face events, host virtual events with your community. Hold virtual team meetings to keep in contact with your staff and volunteers.
  • Establish a work from home policy: Remote work isn’t possible for all nonprofits. However, for those that are able, a work from home policy will give your staff the comfort knowing they can work instead of using sick leave, especially in the time of stay at home or shelter in place orders.

Federal Coronavirus Relief Assistance for Nonprofit Organizations

As the discussions about the next federal stimulus package begin, nonprofits are asking for assistance to let them continue their programs at a time when donations are low and the needs of the community are high. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act offered limited Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs for nonprofits and more help is needed. The relief programs in the works, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), are designated for nonprofits with less than 500 people.

Volunteering to Help During the Coronavirus Pandemic

During times of crisis, Americans always come through to help those in need. The coronavirus pandemic, which is unlike any crisis we have been through in a century, has led to people across the country, finding ingenious ways to help others.

One inspiring story involves a college student in Nevada who started “Shopping Angels” to help the elderly and those with immune conditions who are the most vulnerable for attracting the virus. The group of students provides free grocery delivery to those who cannot leave their homes. Some clients give their shopping list and a budget to the helpers while others shop online and the helpers pick up and deliver the orders. Word of the group’s services has spread across the country, with more college students reaching out to help seniors and those immune-compromised.

There’s also a group of medical students in Minnesota who wanted to help healthcare professionals during the pandemic. They created MN Covidsitters, a group of over 350 volunteers who provide services from childcare and pet sitting to grocery deliveries in the St. Paul area.

Across the nation, individuals and groups are sewing masks for healthcare workers. From costumer design unions to community sewing groups, people are on a mission to help get masks to those who are working on the front lines of coronavirus care.

Other Ways to Help Nonprofit Organizations

Many nonprofits are in desperate need of assistance during the coronavirus crisis. People can help in a variety of ways to get the resources where they are needed the most, including:
  • Volunteer for Meals on Wheels
  • Support your local food bank by making donations
  • Give blood
  • Donate to reputable nonprofits
  • Assist local homeless shelters and services organizations
Large private corporations, such as Facebook, are reaching out to help local communities. Facebook has launched the COVID-19 Community Help Hub, allowing people to request or offer assistance to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as to donate to nonprofit fundraisers.

Thank a Volunteer During National Volunteer Month

Volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations, leading the way by stepping up to help their neighbors and communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Thanking your volunteers for the work they do is key to keeping them motivated during this time of greater need.

National Volunteer Month is a time to recognize the importance of volunteering and to honor the contributions made by volunteers as they donate their time and talents to worthy causes. President George H.W. Bush designated April as National Volunteer Month as part of his 1,000 Points of Light campaign in 1991. National Volunteer Week, also in mid-April, is a dedicated week to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and their inspiring assistance in helping their communities, has been celebrated annually since 1974. The impact of volunteers to help communities and those most affected by the coronavirus cannot be measured; it is vital.

Nonprofit Insurance Coverage from AmTrust

Nonprofit organizations understand the importance of building relationships with the people in the communities in which they serve. A nonprofit must serve the public by offering goods, services, or a combination of the two to further a social cause and provide a public benefit.

Realizing the unique risks these organizations face, AmTrust offers specially designed nonprofit insurance coverage, allowing them to focus on what they do best: helping others. We work with thousands of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. to assist them in keeping their employees and volunteers safe.

For more information about our nonprofit insurance solutions, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

Time Zones