People around the world are searching for ways to give back to their communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past month, we’ve seen exponential growth in the number of professionals reaching out to us looking for ways to volunteer from home. Our mission at Taproot is all about helping nonprofits get the support they need pro bono. Right now, that means helping them get that support remotely from volunteers like you.
First, two important acknowledgements:
- What nonprofits need most right now is financial support. If you are looking for the most effective way to immediately support their work, donating is the way to go.
- Solving capacity-building problems requires time and bandwidth. And honestly, some organizations out there have neither of those. No two organizations are the same, and even a single nonprofits’ ability to take on pro bono projects will vary widely over time as the crisis continues.
Many organizations are seeing a staggering increase in the need for their services paired with the sudden loss of resources like volunteers, funding, and staff). Your ability to provide expertise in areas like marketing, HR, strategy, technology, and finance as a skilled volunteer helps ensure that the organizations our communities rely on can continue their work now and in the future.
5 Needs You Can Address When You Volunteer from Home
Below are a handful of the urgent needs we’re hearing from nonprofits. By volunteering—whether you only have the time for an hour-long consultation call or are looking for a more in-depth 100% virtual project—you make a difference. You can learn more about the different types of pro bono offerings we coordinate with nonprofits here on Taproot Plus.
Crafting crisis communications
Do you have best-in-class communication skills to share? Nonprofits don’t always have trained comms professionals on staff, and a crisis always increases the need for clear, strategic, and compassionate communications.
- One example of a Session: Identify a nonprofit’s next steps for sharing crisis messaging.
- One example of a Project: Support a social good organization with more long-term stakeholder communications, like keeping them informed of how various services will remain available during the crisis.
Our economy has been shifting drastically since the pandemic began, leaving many nonprofits scrambling to reforecast, trim budgets, and adjust expectations. If you can help nonprofits get a handle on their revenue outlook for the year ahead, your skills are very much in demand.
- One example of a Session: Troubleshoot an organization’s financial forecasting model.
- One example of a Project: Create a smart Excel model or do a deeper analysis on the true program costs for the nonprofit you’re working with.
Creative fundraising campaigns
Fundraising events are being cancelled left and right. Nonprofits are faced with the challenge of organizing fundraisers that can work well right now, while the economy is turbulent and in-person events are impossible. They’re looking for your assistance if you have experience designing creative campaigns and/or managing fundraisers.
- One example of a Session: Brainstorm a pithy campaign title or high-level messaging to get their development team inspired.
- One example of a Project: Use your graphic design skills to add visual interest to a new long-term fundraising campaign.
HR policy updates
Are you an HR professional? The way we work has been upended by the crisis, and this business area is often understaffed in the nonprofit world. Organizations need assistance with everything from setting up their first work-from-home policies to designing pandemic-focused protocols for the safety and health of their employees and clients.
- One example of a Session: Review a policy for a nonprofit trying to responsibly implement a work from home system for employees.
- One example of a Project: Work with a nonprofit to flesh out policies and protocols so that they can keep running their organization effectively.
Delivering programs virtually
Tech and IT skills are always in demand, but now they are vital as nonprofits strive to remain nimble while shifting as much programming as possible to virtual delivery. Nonprofits could use your ability to identify their needs , resources, and obstacles, and would gladly accept help laying out a plan that accounts for all three.
- One example of a Session: Walk a nonprofit’s team through the platforms they could use to connect people virtually.
- One example of a Project: Identify a nonprofit’s tech related needs and make informed recommendations that will work to ft their parameters.
You can make a huge difference for a nonprofit by volunteering at any time, but especially during this pandemic. When you choose to volunteer from home while so many of us shelter in place, you make it possible for nonprofits to continue the essential work that they are devoted to.