SIAA’s monthly peer support sessions are informal opportunities for SIAA members to meet colleagues from across the sector, share ideas and provide mutual support. Our latest session was focussed on volunteers. Members shared their views on working with volunteers, recruitment strategies, and their experiences with online volunteering during COVID.
You can find some of the key points that were discussed and some resources below.
‘Volunteers’ key discussion points
Challenges in volunteering during COVID
- Keeping volunteers’ numbers up in uncertain circumstances.
- Needing to shift from in-person volunteering to digital volunteering.
- Recruiting online volunteers from new areas requires balance to not overstep on local volunteering opportunities.
- Keeping volunteers committed to their advocacy partners as they could not meet in person.
Initiatives for volunteering during COVID
- Signing up to the ‘Volunteer Friendly Award’ to encourage volunteers’ interest and commitment.
- Considering external support for recruitment, for example, local volunteer centres or colleges.
- Finding common ground between volunteers and advocacy partners, for example, videogames.
- Participating on virtual stands at career fairs to recruit college and university students.
- Open evenings and information sessions.
- Offering different volunteering opportunities (long-term or short-term opportunities, issue-based work) as volunteers’ commitment varies.
- Setting up an online forum to engage volunteers, volunteers can talk and support each other on the platform.
- Developing social media strategies to engage with volunteers.
- Cyber Security for small organisations: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/training/cyber-security-for-small-organisations-scorm-v2/scormcontent/index.html#/
- Volunteer friendly award: https://volunteerfriendly.co.uk/
- Volunteer Scotland: https://www.volunteerscotland.net/for-organisations/
- Social media kits for members: https://www.siaa.org.uk/members-area/member-resources/
- SCVO training ‘Meeting today’s volunteering challenges’: https://scvo.scot/support/events/a1v3z00000IZM6fAAH/online-meeting-todays-volunteering-challenges