In early February, Communiteer’s plan for 2020 looked quite different. We were working hard on a campaign called Virtually Together to focus on SDG10 and were excited about making an impact to reduce inequalities. As lockdowns were implemented and toilet paper was nowhere to be found we shifted our focus and Virtually Together was formed.
Where are we now with Virtually Together?
Our goal to build a community to connect the most isolated has led us to engage more not-for-profits seeking support than ever, find new interest from corporates to create social impact, and inspire more volunteers to enter the world of virtual volunteering.
Guiding NFPs to Go Digital
NFPs were under immense pressure due to increased demand and disruption to their services with facilities closed down and face-to-face activities halted. Public awareness of social causes became overshadowed by fear and isolation with the pandemic leaving no one unaffected, decreasing donor contributions and volunteer participation.
Since April, over 230 NFPs have approached us, with 80 organisations operating within the mental health, disabilities and refugees and migrants sectors, our most isolated groups in society.
Our events provided a personalised way we could connect with the NFPs coming to us, by sharing our insights on virtual volunteering, online engagement, project scoping and much more.
Halfway through our campaign, we realised we needed to be more hands-on in assisting our NFPs and their transition into the world of virtual and skill-based volunteering. We’ve now conducted 85 consultations sessions with almost 60 organisations, with 36 NFPs owning their communities and actively recruiting volunteers across 75 opportunities.
Because not-for-profits were facing some difficult choices throughout this year, many NFPs decided the pivot to digital wasn’t the right decision due to resourcing issues. This made us more determined to help the sector. Be that an ear to listen, connecting others who could help or brainstorming new solutions.
Corporate Volunteers Looking for Purpose
In building this community, we wanted to engage with those ‘temporarily’ isolated and mobilise them to connect with and support those living in long-term isolation. Corporations across many different industries came to us in numbers we didn’t anticipate, bringing along their working-from-home staff to give back to the community and find purpose amongst the uncertainty.
We’ve had 25 businesses looking to kickstart their virtual volunteering programs, with 9 having already begun introducing us to their NFP community partners.
Corporate employees have been our largest contributing volunteer force over this campaign, though there were challenges in the corporate sector also. With uncertainty, social isolation and low morale, we appreciate the engagement of this group who pursued social impact despite these challenges.
Growing our Virtually Together Volunteer Pool
January 1st, our total user count was at 550. As of mid-November, that number has reached over 1500, an increase of 272%.
18% are regularly logging in, compared to 13% in January. Not only are we increasing our total, but we are forming deeper connections with those looking to make a difference.
Have we tackled isolation?
By onboarding NFPs onto our platform focused on mental health, disabilities, aged care, and refugees and migrants, and more on their way, together we have helped to mend an isolated society experiencing many forms of hardship.
Even though we broadened the scope of our focus causes, we have additionally supported organisations across chronic illness, cancer research, homelessness and poverty, childcare, wildlife, gender equality, climate action and more.
We’ve built the community, but now, we need to ignite that community and unleash the full force of social impact potential.
What’s happening next after Virtually Together?
We want to better support the not-for-profit sector, which means continued free access for your organisation!
2021 will be a new year of recovery and rebuilding. In January, we want to slow down, listen and reflect on the year that’s been, channelling our insights into our next campaign, launching in February.
Next year, we’ll continue to provide the best possible experience for our not-for-profits, on and off the platform, and grow our community further. Even though our lips are sealed as to what focus will be, you can rely on value-packed events, meaningful stories and shared knowledge we’ll create as part of this community.
Communiteer will be here again to support the sector with a larger pool of resources to build awareness, facilitate collaboration and create social impact.
The Communiteer Team