The 2020 coronavirus crisis (or COVID-19) has forced festivals to be cancelled, countries to be on lockdown, and remote work encouraged. But how does this translate into the volunteer world? In this article, you will see a step-by-step on how to use Zelos to turn your volunteer office into a virtual hub.
Bringing your online team together
Let’s say you are currently the volunteer coordinator of a pet shelter. Dogs have to be walked, cats need to be fed and everyone has to remain healthy through the COVID-19 crisis. Your team is composed of 10 people, who process and close adoptions, take care of the animals, and update your social media. Here is the profile of your team:
- Jane, a 59-year-old who volunteers on weekends.
- Ashleigh, Jane’s 15 year-old granddaughter who comes with Jane.
- Matt, a 19 year-old who volunteers on/off through the week and weekends.
- Kara, a 17 year-old who volunteers twice a week to take adoption pictures.
- David, a 70 year-old who volunteers full-time.
- Caleb, Audrey, Mara, Ali, and Quinn, a group of undergrads who volunteer on/off during the week.
§Zelos can replace your spreadsheets with a smart solution accessible anywhere!You open a team using the Zelos desktop platform with the name “Paw Pals Shelter” and make the workspace private and can only join with the password “LUCKY”.
You ask all your volunteers to download the Zelos App and search for “Paw Pals Shelter”. There they can click on the name and input the correct password.
Instead of managing communications one-on-one, now you will create three groups according to their function:
- Animal Care.
- Social Media.
Switching from shift-based to task-based volunteering
Since COVID-19 is especially dangerous to elderly people, you decide to have a call with David and Jane. To avoid exposing them, they both will stay home and help out by filtering adoption requests.
Hence, Jane and David are sorted into Adoptions. In this group you set up a series of tasks usually done in the office including:
- Call potential adopters.
- Follow up on foster pet carers.
- Send adoption forms.
- Review adoption forms.
Since Jane is not driving to the shelter during the weekends, her granddaughter Ashleigh is not coming either. However, Ashleigh is pretty good in social media so you sort her into your “Social Media” team. You also add Kara and Matt to the group, and assign Kara the task to train Matt on taking pictures.
While Matt may still come to the shelter, Kara will stay home and photoshop the pics off-site. Therefore you assign Kara the tasks “Photoshop pics of the week” and “Send pictures with pet names to Ashleigh”.
You sort the rest of your volunteers into the group Animal Care and set up two kinds of tasks: front desk and Pets. Instead of welcoming everyone to come at any time, you limit the amount of volunteers to one per shift to avoid contagion.
To make sure that volunteers are at the shelter, you set up every shift task to request a picture to check’in. You also add your phone number so they can contact you if needed.
Sending important health information
Since the Coronavirus crisis seems to have no end in sight, you decide to train all volunteers on health prevention. You write a handy PDF and setup a task for everyone to download and read the guide.
Finally, you set up a welcome announcement to cheer up everyone and tell them you hope to see them soon.
In just a couple of hours, you have successfully setup a Zelos volunteer workspace to keep things running, while also exposing as little people as possible. The best part? No sifting through endless email chains or texts!
If your organization needs to move to a virtual collaboration format during the COVID-19 crisis, feel free to book a free demo with Zelos. Volunteers make the world better, and a pesky bug shouldn’t stop them!