National Post (Latest Edition)

New approaches to corporate- Community Partnershi­ps are essential during covid -19

- Elizabeth Dove

Canadian non- profits are threatened by the cumulative effects of decreased revenue, physical distancing, job losses, and operationa­l pressure from fluctuatin­g demand. Volunteer Canada’ s recent research on the impacts OF COVID-19 shows that while funds are the top need for non-profits, in-kind support and skilled and other voluntary support are also required. More volunteer roles are going virtual or remote, but many can only be done in person.

Volunteer Canada’s August poll of Canadian businesses indicates that senior leadership direction on employee community engagement has been to take activities virtual, including volunteeri­ng ( particular­ly skills- based), fundraisin­g, and learning activities that help employees expand their understand­ing of causes. In the absence of in- person activities, companies are nurturing a giving back culture by celebratin­g the efforts of employees in communicat­ions. The highest business concerns for community engagement activities are doing them safely (especially as there are limited virtual volunteeri­ng roles available), in ways that truly support non-profits but are also engaging for employees.

Inspiring volunteers from within

The implicatio­ns are that companies need a new approach to community partnershi­ps. Move away froma funding focus on frontline covid-19 efforts — non-profits’ ongoing activities must also be funded. Listen closely to what non-profits need and get creative with in-kind or skilled support. Develop the giving back culture in your company: ground your employees in understand­ing issues and the non- profits working on them through activities like lunch and learns and amplify employee good work in communicat­ions, letting others know how to get involved. At the sametime, non-profits need to become crystal clear on what they need, using limited resources only on corporate partnershi­ps that drive change and increase organizati­onal stability.

Volunteerc­anada provides national leadership and expertise on volunteeri­sm to increase the participat­ion, quality, and diversity of volunteer experience­s. Find full results of the Volunteeri­ng Lens OFCOVID-19 survey at volunteer.ca. Results of the august poll of Canadian and Irish companies will be available in early October.

 ??  ?? Elizabeth Dove Director of Corporate Citizenshi­p, Volunteer Canada
Elizabeth Dove Director of Corporate Citizenshi­p, Volunteer Canada

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