VOLUNTEERS ISSUES

FPLG COVID-19 RESPONSE

VOLUNTEERS ISSUES

[UPDATE: May 26, 2020]

For the many organizations that ordinarily rely on volunteers, these past two months or so have been particularly difficult.

It’s unclear how soon volunteers should be asked – or be willing -to return to service at the nation’s nonprofits. Of course, the safety features instituted by an organization for the benefit of employees should extend to volunteers as well.

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[April 6, 2020]

For nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought serious issues about guarding the safety of everyone involved with an organization while continuing, in many cases, to provide urgent and direct services to the community.

For the many social service agencies, volunteers play a vital role in carrying on the vital activities. It’s critical to  amend existing policies and procedures on volunteers, or to create new ones. Keeping the lines of communication open as well as bringing the volunteers into the decision-making process will be key to carrying the organization (and its community beneficiaries) through to the other side of this outbreak.

 

Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

In addition to legal liability, nonprofits should consider how to assess, manage, and mitigate the risks of volunteer involvement, both during a pandemic and in the regular course of operations. 

— Tobi Johnson, VolunteerPro (5/7/20)

As COVID-19 spreads through the US, there are many unknowns as to the level and depth of response needed from nonprofit organizations. Managing volunteers through this pandemic will be an important part of continuing essential service delivery in our communities.

— Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (3/20)

The volunteers who are already engaged with your organization remain a vital resource as you navigate these unusual circumstances and, as such, deserve some thoughtful strategizing around how to leverage their skills while also protecting them physically, mentally, and emotionally.

— Beth Steinhorn, VQ Volunteer Strategies

REFERENCES & RESOURCES

GO TO: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Remote-Work Costs: Must Nonprofit Reimburse?

[June 5, 2020] Among the many adjustments that employers - including nonprofits - have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic is the abrupt switch to remote work for some or all of their employees. That includes making sure that everyone in the workforce has needed hardware, software, and internet and phone connectivity.  California is among the jurisdictions that initiated early and mandatory stay-at-home orders for a large portion of the population and economy. There [...]

Filing Deadlines Extended for Nonprofit Organizations

[April 24, 2020] By the third week of March 2020, governments at all levels had begun to respond to the many questions and issues raised by the COVID-19 emergency, including - most notably - the curtailment or suspension of operations and activities by individuals and entities on account of new stay-at-home orders  and recommendations.  The necessary federal emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act was made in mid-March. The [...]

UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

[March 27, 2020] The third prong of the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 747) - is now before the House of Representatives, having passed the Senate on Wednesday. The House is expected to approve it today with overwhelming support; voting is expected to begin shortly.  It could be signed at the White House and in effect before the end of this weekend. [...]

Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Ten days ago, we posted Funders Must Step Up - Right Now! (March 16, 2020).   That same morning, influential blogger Vu Le had posted Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for. Mr. Le has long been a vocal critic of many foundations’ viewing the five percent payout figure in the tax code as a ceiling instead of what it is: a floor.  During that week, as most of us were [...]

Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

The devastating pandemic has brought sudden and profound challenges for all of us.  In What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation, (March 16, 2020), the experts from BoardSource write:  “As the world responds to the threats of COVID-19, many nonprofits and their boards are wrestling with difficult questions and decisions.”  A rewrite of that sentence may be in order; every nonprofit and its board is flying blind in [...]

The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or another. This nation’s charitable organizations - and, in particular, the social [...]

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]

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