Nonprofits are the heart of New Hampshire – and volunteers have fueled nonprofits and other public organizations for generations. More than ever, the time, talents, and passions of volunteers are vital to meet community needs. Whether mentoring youth, providing food for the hungry, protecting endangered species, or inspiring new perspectives through the creative arts, volunteers extend organizational reach, increase financial resources, and build capacity to fulfill mission.
Volunteers have always served in many ways, but technological advancements of the last few decades have made it easier than ever for volunteers to serve meaningfully even when working remotely. While this type of “virtual” volunteering has been around for a long time, for many organizations, virtual volunteering remained the exception rather than the rule. Then, the global COVID-19 pandemic along with its associated limitations on in-person gatherings tested organizations’ engagement strategies – curtailing engagement for many and transforming it dramatically for others. The pandemic accelerated many organizations’ adoption of virtual volunteering and became the tipping point for volunteers becoming more willing and comfortable with engaging virtually.