This year, the landscape of volunteerism has changed faster and more dramatically than ever before. 2020 has brought so many challenges to our communities. Our neighbours have needed transportation help to access healthcare services, children have needed help with online tutoring, and many have sought help with substance abuse.
For a peek into what is happening around our communities right now, consider a few statistics…
- In October 2020, 24% of Canadians reported that their mental health and stress levels were worse than in the pandemic's first wave in March and April.
- During the first four months of the pandemic, food bank visits increased by 26.5% in Ontario alone.
Among the many heroes of 2020, are the non-profit organizations that saw increasing and changing needs and responded with fresh approaches. This year, non-profit organizations found innovative ways to serve their communities online. In fact, in May 2020, 54% of charities had moved at least some of their in-person programs online, and 42% had created entirely new online services.
Also high on that list of heroes, are the many individuals that answered the call to volunteer. Back in 2018, 12.7 million Canadians participated in formal volunteer opportunities by donating 1.7 billion hours of their time. Though the numbers are not in for 2020 just yet, Canadians are still showing a strong commitment to volunteerism, despite obstacles. Between June and October, 63% of volunteers reported that they were currently volunteering with the same organization in the same role as before the pandemic. Plus, 12% of volunteers said they had started volunteering with a new organization.
This year, there has been a strong trend towards virtual volunteer opportunities and further stretching budgets to provide more services on fewer funds. Many non-profits are asking themselves a few questions…
- How do we maintain volunteer management on a decreased budget?
- How do we engage socially with our volunteers and community?
- How do we find the volunteers we need?
Changing times call for new tools and innovative approaches. Gigit can help you answer the big questions about volunteer management in a new non-profit landscape.
A free tool for challenging economic times
Along with all the other challenges of the year, many organizations have reported a significant decrease in funding. Imagine Canada says that non-profit organizations have experienced a 30.6% average decrease in revenue. If your organization is among the 69% of charities experiencing an economic downturn this year, you are probably wondering how to make the most of every dollar. But, this is no time to pull funding out of programs or services.
At Gigit, we believe that volunteer scheduling, tracking volunteer hours, and creating volunteer shifts should never require a pricey operational management system. That's why we designed Gigit as a free tool, which is available for all not-for-profit organizations, regardless of your budget. With Gigit, you can put more money where it really counts, instead of into an operational management software.
A social platform when it's needed most
One of the most important benefits of volunteering is the social network it provides. When people sign up for a volunteer role, they make a difference in their communities and their own lives. Friendships are forged while packing meal boxes. Social skills are built while guiding tutoring sessions. Professional contacts are made while planning fundraising events. Whatever the volunteer gig, social connections are created.
But, in today's changing volunteer landscape, things are a little less social than they used to be. While the increased attention on virtual volunteering provides new ways to meet needs and maintain services, it decreases social interaction between volunteers. Suddenly, many of us are fulfilling volunteer roles in our home offices or while staring into a screen on our dining room table, instead of in a room full of new friends.
This year may have robbed us all of social interactions, but Gigit is helping to give them back. Beyond providing non-profit volunteer management, event management, and donor management, Gigit is a social platform. This is one of the things that makes Gigit so unique. While traditional operational management systems provide some functionality, they don't connect people.
At Gigit, we took the social connections that are such a beloved part of volunteering and built them into our system. Now, users can create community connections by following groups, finding volunteer opportunities and events, as well as building their individual profile right on the platform. In today's new normal, Gigit is building important community connections for individuals and organization to be found, and to find each other.
A volunteer recruiting tool to find the volunteers you really need
Whether your volunteer opportunities are virtual or in-person, you need to find people who want to help. Gigit makes it easy to post multiple volunteer opportunities, all for free. And, there's no need to drag your efforts across multiple platforms. With Gigit, all your volunteer management tools are in one place, so you can advertise opportunities, sift through volunteer applications, and assign shifts all in one spot.
But, there are times when you need a volunteer with a specific skill set. Fundraising and grant writing skills are in high demand with 31% of non-profit organizations say these volunteer skills were the most valuable to them. Social skills also proved to be a much-needed talent, with 13% of organizations reporting that this was the most beneficial pro-bono skillset.
Whatever skillset you need most in a volunteer, Gigit can help you find it by reviewing the skills and experience each volunteer offers or has acquired through volunteering in their Gigit profile.
Post a volunteer opportunity today
As the pandemic comes to an end, many things will go back to the way they were. But, in some respects, volunteerism will be forever changed. Potential volunteers love the flexibility of looking at many opportunities at once as well as connecting via an online social network. In addition, volunteer managers can make the most of their budgets with volunteer scheduling, creating volunteer shifts, and tracking volunteer hours all on one easy-to-use free platform. Gigit is the answer for simple to use volunteer management. Get started and post a volunteer opportunity today.