Volunteer Health Screenings, Volunteer Work-Study Environment, and Creative Zoom Meeting Ideas! | Track It Forward

Volunteer Health Screenings, Volunteer Work-Study Environment, and Creative Zoom Meeting Ideas!

Last updated by Kasey Murphy on 11/12/2020

Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community Weekly Recap September 29 - October 5 

It is a weird time to be a Volunteer Coordinator, that’s for sure. Some organizations are opening up and accepting volunteers with many restrictions, while others are still completely virtual. This week, we have decided to display a few topics of conversation from both sides of the spectrum. 

It is important to reach out to communities like this one as you begin to open up, or run out of creative ideas for your volunteer program. Especially in these times, we need help from one another and this group has been happy to give a lot of ideas, resources, and pick me ups throughout the pandemic. 

We hope as people move forward, or as they are still in virtual environments, they are able to reach out to this group and have questions answered, resources given, and advice flowing! 

The first topic that we are going to cover is volunteer health screening! This is for those Volunteer Coordinators who are starting to open back up, have volunteers in-person, and want to be cautious of volunteers exposing each other or the environment. 

Volunteer Health Screenings are extremely time-consuming, but important measures to take as you reopen your volunteer program. Health Screenings for volunteers can be as extensive or as basic as you would like, as long as they provide a sense of security for those in the volunteer program, and provide important health information regarding coronavirus. 

Some Examples of Volunteer Health Screening Questions Include: 

  • Have you had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days? 

  • Have you traveled out of the country in the past 14 days? 

  • Have you traveled out of the state in the past 10 days? 

  • Have you been exposed to anyone who is experiencing COVID symptoms or going to get tested? 

  • Have you been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days? 

When it comes to running a volunteer program, volunteer coordinators are very busy and have a lot of tasks to complete, so adding a whole new health screening process can be very difficult. Along with creating the volunteer health screening questions, you have to implement how you are going to ask the questions, when, how they will be evaluated, and how often they need to be checked. 

This leads us to this Facebook post in the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community.

Has anyone made use of an app to facilitate daily health screenings for paid and unpaid staff? If yes, what are you using? Do you like it? Do your volunteers like it? Pros/cons...all the info, please! If you have something specific in use just for your volunteers, I welcome that information, too! :) Many thanks!

Advice From The Comments on Volunteer Health Screening Apps

  • Be wary of HIPPAA laws! “You have to be really careful with people's personal and health information.”

  • “I use a jot form healthcare screening questionnaire.”

  • Make your own and implement it every time someone signs up to volunteer- have an employee or volunteer dedicated to deciding if they pass the screening! 

Resources For Volunteer Health Screening Processes 

The next topic of conversation from the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community had to deal with volunteers/employees who are under work-study. Work-study volunteers usually are a bit different than volunteers only in the sense that they are gaining something from their volunteer time (other than a great sense of attribution). 

So, when it comes to work-study people in your organization - do they count as volunteers? Especially since they are not getting paid by your organization at all? 

Let’s see what conversation this Facebook post produced. 

Question, and sorry if this has been already asked... how do y'all in-process work-study? I have never had one before. She actually came to a virtual volunteer orientation and never heard back from her, and one of my colleagues was like

Comments About Work-Study Volunteerism 

  • “I have a similar situation where one of my interns was getting compensated through a program at their university. We treated them the exact same as the other interns - pretty much identical to the volunteer process.”

  • “We still needed them to abide by our volunteer/intern agreements. I did count those hours as volunteer hours.”

  • “We have our work studies go through HR because of technically being staff and being paid. I do not count any hours and our funders won’t let us count it as volunteer time. Work studies can be hired and fired just like the staff.”

  • “We also treat them as volunteers. They are trained, scheduled and held accountable to our standards.”

  • We think, If your work-study volunteer is doing a lot of volunteer work, you can use a time tracking system to track their time and value, but add a category or tag to their hour log data to clearly distinguish that they are a work-study volunteer! 

Resources About Work-Study Volunteerism 

And lastly, those of you who are still doing a lot of virtual work is probably running a bit dry on some Zoom ideas. It is such a good idea to bring in random, fun things for Zoom meetings to keep volunteers engaged and wanting to volunteer or at least be an active participant.  

Need an idea for your next zoom meeting? Just had my first virtual alpaca visit and I think I am in love with these little babies! 13/10 recommend.https://tensevenacres.com/book-an-alpaca/
#lovols #virtualevent #trainingsession #engagement

Here are some more creative Zoom ideas we have seen: 

  • Play Scattegories / Games Online 

  • Host Trivia Night or Minute To Win It Style Games 

  • Do A Virtual Museum Tour

  • Find a Virtual Destination To Explore 

  • “Murder Mystery” Interactive Games 

  • Treasure Hunt 

Resources For Virtual Events: 

Have any ideas to add? We would love to hear them! Comment on the post here.