Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

CUP Recap: Volunteers and Interns

In this session, we hosted Rebecca Nelson with Volunteer Mississippi Northeast Hub to share some strategies for creating virtual opportunities for volunteers.

Rebecca’s top six ways to engage volunteers virtually are:

  • Letter writing – patients, elderly, special populations, teachers, first responders, essential worker
  • Care packages – engage individual volunteers or groups in collecting items for care packages that can be dropped off at specified location or compiled off-site; toiletries and essential items, as well as fun self-care items that can brighten someone’s day
  • Mailings/phone calls – use volunteers to off-load some of the regular office work from home utilizing phone trees and dropping off supplies at individual volunteer homes
  • Zoom ambassadors – create virtual volunteer opportunities for volunteers that can assist with digital needs, perhaps scheduling or moderating Zoom meetings, managing social media, and more. All of these can be done remotely regardless of location.
  • Research – utilize volunteers to do essential research that will support your work. Volunteers can research grant opportunities or potential funding streams or research how-to’s for your agency as you translate work into new contexts and build a new learning curve to meet needs in the current environment
  • Translators, especially for ESL – Volunteers with language skills can be invaluable in helping to translate information and resources, broaden your audience, or reach untapped audiences.

Some additional shared resources:

Download the full transcript (PDF).