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Nelson Spearheads Virtual Volunteering

Volunteer Nelson is unlocking the power of virtual volunteering to mobilise a new generation of volunteers online.

A recently released survey by ComVoices underlined what Volunteer Nelson has known for a long time – volunteer habits are changing, and the community sector urgently needs to move online.

“People are busy, and increasingly want to give pockets of time to multiple causes, rather than a set shift for one organisation once a week,” says Volunteer Nelson Manager Gordon Oldfield.

“What our volunteer managers are finding is that organisations that have moved to collaborative online systems are better able to attract, reward and retain volunteers.”

Volunteer Nelson is using Be Collective, an online hub for anyone looking for volunteer opportunities or anyone managing volunteer effort, to make the most of micro and virtual volunteering opportunities.

“Be Collective makes it really easy for people to look for opportunities that suit their interests and availability,” Gordon Oldfield says.

“We’re a social enterprise committed to lifting community organisations into the digital age,” says Alex Drummond, Be Collective’s Nelson-based Community Development Manager.

“We see ourselves as a community organisation with a technology solution. We bring communities together by making it easier to partner and share opportunities, organise volunteer effort and reward those people who show up time and time again for the causes they care about.

“A big part of what we’re about is building the credibility and visibility of volunteer effort. Be Collective provides every volunteer a social CV, which gives them verified testimonials for their community work,” Alex Drummond says.

Volunteer Nelson says the transition to Be Collective has strengthened community partnerships and has made opportunities like virtual and micro-volunteering more accessible.

“For years we worked directly with the IHC Charity Shop in Elms Street. Now, thanks to our partnership with IHC on Be Collective we have our first ever virtual volunteering role which gives locals the opportunity to offer their friendship online to people with intellectual disabilities.

“Be Collective helps us connect community organisations with the business sector, particularly for businesses who have, or want to offer an Employee Volunteer Program.

“COVID showed us just how much goodwill there is in our community. The trick is channelling it to the right place at the right time. Be Collective is helping us do that,” Gordon Oldfield said.

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