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COVID-19 and its Impact on Volunteering: Moving Towards Virtual Volunteering



These unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the everyday lives of individuals. A particular activity impacted by this pandemic is leisure. Within leisure, an important activity to enhance social outcomes (e.g., civic participation) and the survival of organizations and events is volunteering. However, and given social distancing measures and the combination of postponements or cancelations of organizational or event operations, the traditional form of in-person volunteering is threatened. The purpose of this essay is to discuss opportunities and challenges for organizations and events to apply virtual volunteering as a strategy during the pandemic and beyond. Both opportunities (i.e., creating accessibility) and challenges (i.e., management process) are discussed according to pertinent literature. From this, an understanding of virtual volunteering’s value to create leisure opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond is presented to advance its implementation in organization and events by leisure practitioners.
COVID-19 and its Impact on Volunteering: Moving Towards
Virtual Volunteering
Erik L. Lachance
School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
These unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic have
impacted the everyday lives of individuals. A particular activity
impacted by this pandemic is leisure. Within leisure, an important
activity to enhance social outcomes (e.g., civic participation) and
the survival of organizations and events is volunteering. However,
and given social distancing measures and the combination of
postponements or cancelations of organizational or event opera-
tions, the traditional form of in-person volunteering is threatened.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss opportunities and chal-
lenges for organizations and events to apply virtual volunteering
as a strategy during the pandemic and beyond. Both opportuni-
ties (i.e., creating accessibility) and challenges (i.e., management
process) are discussed according to pertinent literature. From this,
an understanding of virtual volunteerings value to create leisure
opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond is pre-
sented to advance its implementation in organization and events
by leisure practitioners.
Received 23 April 2020
Accepted 8 May 2020
COVID-19; events;
organizations; virtual
volunteering; volunteer
Given these unprecedented times, countries in North America, Europe, and Asia have
imposed measures for social distancing to limit COVID-19s spread. These social dis-
tancing measures have created negative impacts on leisure activities including: recre-
ation, sport, parks, travel, and tourism. Beyond these leisure activities, one particular
activity inherently linked with other leisure-based activities that has also been negatively
impacted by COVID-19 is traditional volunteering.
Understood as a freely chosen leisure activity, volunteering is an integral activity for
civic participation and the operations of organizations and events (Hoye et al., 2020).
Given the societal conditions of COVID-19, the traditional form of volunteering is
threatened as this typically occurs with individuals fulfilling their activities in-person.
This threat is the result of two factors: government legislations and social distancing,
and postponement or cancelation of organizational and event operations.
CONTACT Erik L. Lachance,,@E_Lachance4 School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of
Health Sciences, Univeristy of Ottawa, 125 University Private, K1N 6N5, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
ß2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
The impact of this public policy and these leisure opportunities are entangled and
linked together. On one hand, events of various levels have been postponed (e.g., 2020
Tokyo Summer Olympics) or canceled (e.g., Toronto Pride Parade) before government
action was taken to constrict leisure opportunities. On the other hand, non-essential
businesses (e.g., sport and recreation organizations) have been mandated to suspend all
in-person operations and services (Government of Ontario, n.d.). This forces organiza-
tions to transition operations (e.g., meetings) to virtual spaces (e.g., Zoom), restructure
through layoffs, or temporarily suspend operations.
The postponement and cancelation of organizational and event operations has
restricted individuals from practicing their freely chosen leisure activity in-person. For
example, more than 80 000 individuals will be unable to volunteer this year at the 2020
Tokyo Summer Olympics (Callos, 2020). This negative impact on volunteering is rele-
vant for organizations and events given the unpredictability of COVID-19 and the
breadth of social distancing measures. However, and while individuals may not be able
to fulfill their volunteering activities in-person, this threat creates an opportunity for
virtual volunteering (VV).
Since the inception of the world wide web, VV has emerged as a variation to trad-
itional in-person volunteering (Liu et al., 2016). Unlike traditional in-person volunteer-
ing, VV (synonymous with online volunteering) is a leisure activity where individuals
complete all tasks off-site through virtual spaces (Volunteer Canada, 2020). While some
volunteers combine both traditional in-person volunteering and VV to complete their
tasks, the type of VV discussed in this essay is pure online volunteering. Pure online
volunteering is selected for this essay to bound the following discussion on volunteering
that occurs uniquely in virtual spaces and away from others, yet in formal association
with an organization or event (Liu et al., 2016).
To date, VV is practiced more by males than females, and is participated by a variety of
groups (e.g., youth, older adults), education levels, and employment status (Liu et al., 2016).
Despite this, research has shown that VV is more popular among youth in their 20s and
30s, people who are educated (e.g., post-secondary), but also unemployed (Murray &
Harrison, 2005). This is compared to traditional in-person volunteering where the majority
of the volunteer workforce is comprised of individuals over 35 years old that are educated
and employed (McGregor-Lowndes et al., 2017). VV have also been discussed as having
less work experience and skills as opposed to traditional in-person volunteers (Liu et al.,
2016), and this can be explained by its practice being more popular among youth.
The relevance of VV is ever-present within this intersection of the COVID-19 pan-
demic, and the prominence of technology in our contemporary times (Liu et al., 2016).
For instance: [s]ocial distancing is the recommended course for containing virus spread.
This may mean looking for volunteer opportunities that can be done virtually or remotely
from your home(Volunteer Canada, 2020, p. 1). Given societal circumstances caused by
COVID-19, it is important to discuss VV its opportunities and challenges as this
form of volunteering is the only viable option for this leisure activity.
Thus, the purpose of this essay is to critically discuss opportunities and challenges for
organizations and events (hereafter referred to as leisure practitioners; LP), to harness VV dur-
ing the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. The essay is structured as followed. Opportunities
VV provides LP will be presented, followed by challenges, and a brief conclusion.
For LP, VV provides the ability to (re)create accessible leisure opportunities for individ-
uals. These opportunities will be discussed according to current and new volunteers.
Current volunteers
Social distancing makes it impossible for current volunteers to complete their activities
in-person. However, VV enables current volunteers to transition their activities online,
and still be engaged in their leisure activity during COVID-19. For instance, Board
members who regularly meet in-person are now forced to complete their volunteering
through virtual spaces. However, and while fulfilling current duties, these Board mem-
bers could also seek to complete other, and often over-looked, tasks, such as strategic
planning, performance evaluations, and maintaining external relationships with stake-
holders. This same situation applies to current volunteers (e.g., presidents, executive
directors, coaches) as roles and responsibilities can be completed through virtual spaces
during COVID-19. Thus, VV makes the leisure activity of current volunteers accessible
through technology despite current circumstances.
The current situation with COVID-19 may also provide the opportunity for LP to
transition certain roles to virtual spaces after the pandemic. While considering the
prominence of technology in contemporary times, COVID-19 could lead to a greater
implementation and sustainment of VV. As opposed to simply using VV for short-term
roles or projects, LP could look to transition specific roles online and leverage technol-
ogy on a long-term strategic basis.
The flexibility of VV is also a worthy point of discussion for current volunteers. For
instance, current volunteers who may only be marginally involved in organizational or
event operations, and state time and additional commitments (e.g., family, work) as fac-
tors limiting their accessibility, have the liberty of volunteering autonomously and from
the comfort of their own homes during COVID-19. The accessibility of VV allows these
individuals to be meaningfully involved and enjoy leisure opportunities despite current
New volunteers
As individuals practice social distancing, LP have an opportunity to provide an access-
ible leisure opportunity for new volunteers through VV. As geographical boundaries are
broken with virtual spaces, VV allows LP to broaden the involvement of individuals
from different regions and/or countries (Volunteer Canada, 2019). Without VV, LP
may be unable to capitalize on a vast population of individuals that were not would not
be able to volunteer through traditional in-person means due to geographical restric-
tions. Thus, the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing
measures allows LP to extend the boundary of their organization or event through VV
opportunities and be engaged with a wide variety of individuals. Considering that these
individuals would not otherwise be involved in volunteering, LP can engage them in
VV during COVID-19 and beyond.
Beyond these aforementioned aspects, LP could also take the opportunity presented
by COVID-19 to provide an accessible leisure activity and engage with three groups of
individuals: individuals with disabilities, youth, and older adults. First, VV does not
ignore a neglected, yet valuable group of individuals within the volunteer population in
an effort to offer leisure opportunities. As the majority of volunteer opportunities are
specific for individuals without disabilities, VV enables for individuals with disabilities
to partake in a leisure activity. Thus, this leisure activity does not discriminate against
individuals with disabilities, but instead provides them with an accessible opportunity
for leisure.
Second, youth represent the largest portion of VV. While this may come as no sur-
prise given their technological upbringings and surroundings, this pandemic can also
provide an accessible leisure activity to youth. As students are unable to seek employ-
ment due to COVID-19, VV can allow them to be involved, gain work experience, and
develop skills and knowledge for future endeavors. For instance, the Canadian govern-
ment has advocated for youth to get involved in volunteering during COVID-19 as the
need is there [among practitioners], but it will also reduce the number of young people
who are sitting around(Aiello, 2020). This groups involvement in VV could easily be
completed through virtual spaces given their interest and comfort with technology in an
effort to provide assistance to leisure practitioners.
Finally, and despite being motivated to partake in VV (Mukherjee, 2011), older adults
are not a prominent group in this type of volunteering. Beyond issues, such as surfing
browsers, login onto platforms, communicating via email and video software, and small
font text, older adults can be considered as very experienced and knowledgeable indi-
viduals in their respective fields (Liu et al., 2016; Mukherjee, 2011). Such experience
and knowledge is valuable for LP as certain voids could be filled by engaging older
adults in VV opportunities. However, there are also benefits for older adults to partake
in VV during COVID-19. For instance, as older adults seek leisure opportunities, VV
could lead to outcomes such as involvement, meaningfully engagement, and enhanced
life satisfaction (Nimrod, 2007). Thus, LP should market VV opportunities to older
adults as an accessible opportunity to apply relevant skills and past experiences and/or
search for new experiences and development of skills.
Despite opportunities, VV challenges LP in their management process. More precisely,
the management process is challenged in terms of recruitment, engagement, and reten-
tion of VV. Each of these challenges will be discussed below.
For recruitment, LP have yet to take advantage of VV as few have created roles specific
for this volunteer type (Liu et al., 2016). Further, LP have reported using other strategies
(e.g., in-person interviews) as opposed to technology to recruit volunteers. The lack of
willingness of LP to use technology (Murray & Harrison, 2005) for recruitment is ironic
given the fundamental nature of VV and an abundance of websites that promote posi-
tions for this volunteer type (e.g., Volunteer Canadas Pan Canadian Matching
Platform). This can also be explained by the limited use of technology by LP in com-
parison to other industries where technology is more prevalent (e.g., education, software
design, engineering).
During COVID-19, LP should (a) conduct an internal analysis of their organization
or event, and (b) partner with volunteer-related agencies to assist with the recruitment
of VV. The internal analysis (e.g., strengths, weaknesses) would enable LP to determine
potential needs (e.g., social media, strategic planning, governance) based on their cur-
rent available resources. For instance, and as strategic planning is often lacking in com-
munity sport organizations (e.g., Misener & Doherty, 2009), LP could create VV
positions to fill such voids (e.g., Board committee member, business development
advisor/consultant). For social media, a relevant group to pursue would be youth given
their interests and knowledge of various platforms (e.g., Twitter). LP could provide
information about positions or advertise on social media platforms to recruit youth for
VV. These recruitment strategies would enable LP to maintain operations virtually, and
continue to work toward the achievement of goals and objectives despite COVID-19.
However, determining needs to create VV positions is not enough for LP. To
enhance the recruitment of individuals during COVID-19, LP should communicate and
partner with volunteer-related agencies at the national- (e.g., Volunteer Canada), pro-
vincial- (e.g., Volunteer Alberta), and local-levels (e.g., Volunteer Ottawa). These agen-
cies, which are often overlooked and underutilized, could assist LP with advertising
their available positions, and provide additional knowledge and resources to promote
best practices. These agencies can also assist LP with the search for specific groups of
individuals to be involved in VV (e.g., individuals with disabilities, youth, older adults),
and offer strategies to engage undervalued individuals in the volunteer population.
For engagement, LP have also had challenges communicating with VV, such as individ-
uals taking prolonged periods of time to provide responses on task progress or follow-
up emails, while others even leave their role without notice (Liu et al., 2016). While this
can also be possible in traditional volunteering, VV adds an additional barrier (i.e.,
technological medium) for LP to communicate with its volunteers on a regular basis
and to properly engage with them through virtual spaces as opposed to in-person.
However, and despite these communication issues, VV have also discussed the need for
increased communication and task-load than currently provided by LP (Liu et al.,
2016). This juxtaposition creates a challenge for LP to effectively engage their VV.
To combat engagement challenges among VV during the pandemic, LP should be
more involved and communicative with its volunteers. First, LP should incorporate
weekly meetings with its VV where updates could be given regarding current and
ongoing tasks. Such updates could be completed through video platforms (e.g., Zoom),
and would enable for communication issues to be less prevalent than before.
Second, communication is important to determine the level of engagement and
experience of VV. For instance, if individuals feel as though their tasks are not appro-
priate or not meaningful, LP should make modifications (e.g., change of position, add-
itional tasks) to promote greater engagement. The assigned role is critical in
maintaining a positive volunteer experience as improper role-fit and performance can
have negative outcomes (Lachance & Parent, 2020). Providing meaningful engagement
and opportunities for VV begins with properly assessing the individuals needs, motives,
skills, and past experiences to determine an appropriate role. Thus, LP are encouraged
to discover individualscharacteristics through virtual interviews during the recruitment
process for VV.
Finally, VV retention is problematic for leisure practitioners (Murray & Harrison,
2005). In comparison to traditional volunteers, VV are believed to be more difficult to
retain as their tasks are primarily project-based and short-term in nature (Murray &
Harrison, 2005). As such, LP are challenged to create meaningful opportunities for VV
to be involved in more long-term roles and tasks in an effort to encourage retention
(Liu et al., 2016). However, volunteer retention is problematic and not a simple under-
taking (Hoye et al., 2020).
The circumstances of COVID-19s unpredictability enables LP to combat a major
challenge in VV; establishing long-term roles. As current VV opportunities are short-
term, leisure practitioners have the unique opportunity to engage individuals for longer
periods of time. For instance, a previous volunteer involved in communications could
be tasked with a VV opportunity related to the development of policies or operations
for social media platforms, a social media strategy, and/or marketing. Additional exam-
ples of long-term roles could include policy development (e.g., recruitment and orienta-
tion of VV, by-laws, codes of conduct), project management (e.g., financial analyses,
marketing and communications), or assisting with editing, proofreading, and translation
of operational documents and policies (Volunteer Canada, 2019).
Given the unpredictability of COVID-19, retention of VV is critical for LP to sustain
organizational and event operations. If VV are able to be retained, LP will reap the ben-
efits of having knowledgeable and experienced individuals, and spend less time search-
ing for new individuals to fill vacant positions. The operations of organizations and
events will look drastically different than before COVID-19, and LP may be forced to
continue some additional operations off-site due to safety measures. This highlights the
need for VV to be retained and engaged in long-term roles to continually assist with
operations and transitions due to COVID-19, and its eventual aftermath.
The relevancy of VV for LP during the COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront and argu-
ably more relevant than ever. LP must transition some operations virtually, while individ-
uals are forced to be away from one another. Yet these individuals still strive for leisure
activities. This essay discussed the major opportunities and challenges for LP to imple-
ment VV during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these opportunities and challenges
might be navigated beyond this pandemic. VV offers individuals the opportunity to pur-
sue their desired leisure activity (i.e., volunteering), and enables LP to navigate transitions
and maintain operations, all while respecting imposed social distancing measures.
Given the current digital age, technology is not something we can escape, but instead,
a tool LP should seek to leverage through its most indispensable resource; volunteers.
VV represents the future of volunteering as a leisure activity, which is ripe for both
inquiry and implementation during COVID-19 and beyond. Currently, research on VV
in organizations and events is limited. It is thus imperative for us as leisure scholars to
advance our understanding of VV in these contexts, aid LP to effectively implement
VV, and investigate its relationship with broader topics such as the volunteer experi-
ence. This would advance knowledge of the volunteer experience in virtually spaces as
current research and understanding of this phenomenon is limited to traditional in-per-
son volunteering experiences (e.g., Lachance & Parent, 2020).
Erik L. Lachance
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... Volunteering is defined as "freely chosen and deliberate helping activities that extend over time, are engaged in without expectation of reward or other compensation and often through formal organizations, and that are performed on behalf of causes or individuals who desire assistance" (Snyder and Omoto, 2008, p. 3). However, the spread of COVID-19 and the accompanying strict government measures, such as social distancing, have negatively affected traditional volunteer work (Lachance, 2020). Therefore, "the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake of digital health technologies and further illuminated the need for accessible health information, transforming the integrated digital healthcare delivery from being viewed as a potential opportunity to becoming an immediate necessity" (Turk et al., 2022, pp. ...
... However, fear of contracting COVID-19 can prevent large numbers of volunteers, including physicians, from engaging in volunteering. Therefore, digital volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis can be considered as an effective strategy to respond to social distancing and lockdown measures (Lachance, 2020;Sun et al., 2021). Thus, we believe that investigating the antecedents of digital volunteering from the volunteers' viewpoint can improve the ability to attract more volunteers in times of health crises. ...
... In contrast, online volunteering is accessible; it can be done from anywhere at any time. Lachance (2020) assumed that, during COVID-19, the flexibility and the accessibility of virtual volunteering are beneficial factors that encourage broadening the individuals' involvement from different countries and places. According to Saura et al. (2020), trust and perceived ease of use of the web platform that promotes volunteering have a positive impact on perceived usefulness of this platform, and the latter has a positive impact on intent and attitude toward using this platform. ...
Purpose The digitalization has changed the volunteer paradigm, making young volunteers use technology in their volunteering activities. The current study sets out to identify and model the antecedents that determine intention to engage in digital health volunteering among Algerian physicians to give insights promoting the development of digital volunteering in different countries of the world. Design/methodology/approach To this end, the authors used a survey design to extend the technology acceptance model (TAM) with two construct (self-efficacy and perceived risk of COVID-19 infection). A convenience sample of 163 physicians; working in the private and public sectors in six provinces of Algeria was selected. The data were analyzed through a multiple linear regression. Findings The findings show that the perceived usefulness, ease of use, attitudes toward digital volunteering, level of self-efficacy and perceived risk of COVID-19 infection have a significant positive effect on physicians' intentions to engage in digital volunteering work in the context of health crises. Practical implications This study reveals that engaging in digital volunteering can be promoted during health crises as an effective strategy to provide support and assist public health institutions and emergency management. Originality/value To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study from Africa that explores digital volunteer work, and the first study that extends the TAM to investigate digital volunteer intention among physicians.
... In the current digital age, a substantial portion of sport consumption occurs digitally (Kennedy et al., 2022;. Consequently, sport events have become increasingly digitalized (Lachance, 2020) and event organizers have invested significant resources into integrating social media within their business practices (Filo et al., 2015). The dominance of social media, among other digital technologies, has significantly altered the way in which events are created, planned, covered/distributed, and reported (McGillivray, 2014). ...
... By introducing the notion of digital SEIs, this research contributes to existing SEIrelated research by updating it to reflect event consumption in the digital age. Since events are becoming increasingly digitized (Estanyol, 2022;Lachance, 2020), it is increasingly relevant and pertinent to understand social impacts of digital event consumption (Naraine et al., 2021Watanabe et al., 2019) This research also contributes theoretically to the existing knowledge pertaining to social media usage and sport consumption. Namely, the results found that even among Impacted respondents who were heavy general social media users, there was a lack of social media event consumption; specifically, nearly half of respondents did not use social media to consume any live event coverage and more than half did not use the official hashtag. ...
This study measured if residents, or subsets of residents, experienced social event impacts (SEIs) and social media event impacts (SMEIs) from a major sport event. Panel data were collected from 1,027 individuals using an online survey nine-months post-event. Descriptive statistics indicated that although the event did not jeopardize residents’ safety or cause them conflict, it failed to produce positive SEIs and SMEIs, other than feel good factor, amongst the population. A cluster analysis revealed that while there was a subset of residents who experienced positive SEIs and SMEIs, over half were limitedly impacted, experiencing either no positive SEIs nor SMEIs or only SEIs. This research advances SEI-related theory by investigating impacts among all community members, not just attendees; measuring impacts further out from the event, not just shortly post-event; and introducing SMEIs. It challenges the notion that events elicit positive SEIs while identifying boundaries with respect to who experiences them.
... 2020;Fancourt i in. 2021;Lachance 2020;Carlsen, Toubøl, Brincker 2021), w które angażowały się także osoby wcześniej nieaktywne w inicjatywach społecznych i charytatywnych (Bertogg, Koos 2021). Charytatywność i wolontariat nie są bezproblemowymi definicyjnie sposobami realizacji solidarności (Wildt 1999;Radzińska 2014), ale warto dostrzec aktywność w tych obszarach (Wilson, Musick 1997), uzupełnioną o odpowiedź na nową potrzebę wsparcia związaną z doświadczeniem stresu pandemii i izolacji (Arpino i in. ...
... Możliwości wspierania innych były szerzej dostępne, bo więcej osób potrzebowało różnego rodzaju wsparcia (Duque i in. 2020;Lachance 2020;Carlsen i in. 2021), jednocześnie potrzeby pomocy były bardziej jaskrawe. ...
... For example, layoffs, health restrictions, unpaid leaves, and external market factors contributed to financial instability, heavier workloads, and staffing shortages among nonprofit human service organizations. Due to health and safety concerns, in-person formal volunteering ceased or decreased significantly in favor of virtual volunteering (Biddle & Gray, 2020;Lachance, 2020;Nanavaty, 2020;Pawłowski & Leppert, 2021;Pickell et al., 2020;Sun et al., 2020;Trautwein et al., 2020). By contrast, informal volunteering saw an uptick, as service-minded individuals began shopping and delivering food and medication and providing necessary transportation for neighbors in need (Biddle & Gray, 2020;Churchill, 2020;Cnaan, Handy, et al., 2022;Cnaan, Meijs, et al., 2022;Tierney & Mahtani, 2021;Tolentino, 2020;Trautwein et al., 2020;Yang, 2021;Yumagulovaa & Handmer, 2021). ...
... Virtual operations can relieve burdens associated with in-volunteering, such as commuting or other accessibility related barriers (Sun et al., 2020). Therefore, VCs can leverage the virtual space for tasks such as training or certification processes which has also been suggested by Lachance (2020). However, VCs should consider their volunteers and potential barriers to leveraging virtual spaces as highlighted by Harris (2021) and Sun et al. (2020). ...
Full-text available
Human service organizations in the US are heavily dependent on volunteers and donations. The COVID-19 pandemic compromised the ability of volunteer coordinators and fundraisers to obtain and retain such vital resources. This article details the experiences of those entrusted with the acquisition and retention of time and money for human service organizations during the pandemic. Volunteer coordinators faced obstacles in reestablishing a volunteer base, and keeping volunteers engaged and supported while navigating the health risks associated with COVID-19. Fundraisers had to rapidly adjust their solicitation methods amid greater demand for accountability, transparency, and impact from donors. These challenges required innovations and ad-hoc adjustments -both of which were difficult to initiate during the COVID-19 pandemic when operations were carried out virtually. Much has been made about how executive leadership or organizations responded to the pandemic. This article is unique by providing empirical evidence of how specific units within human service organizations adapted.
... The relevance of volunteering in virtual space is ever-present within this connection of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the eminence of technological advancement in our contemporary times (Lachance, 2021) and the currently unraveling overarching process of digitalization (Ackermann & Manatschal, 2018). In relation to that, social distancing for instance is the most common standard operating procedure (SOP) to contain virus spread. ...
... In relation to that, social distancing for instance is the most common standard operating procedure (SOP) to contain virus spread. This leads to volunteer opportunities that could be carried out virtually or remotely from own home (Lachance, 2021). ...
... By using social media to promote volunteering, non-profit organizations can reach a broader audience and connect with individuals who may not have considered volunteering in the past. Social media also allows organizations to engage with volunteers and build a sense of community around a cause, which can help increase volunteer retention Lachance, 2021). One of the main advantages of social media is its ability to reach a large number of people quickly and easily. ...
... Although unfortunately /t /s uncerta/n when Cov/d-19 w/ll d/sappear and when people can go back to the/r normal l/ves, sc/ence world has concerns about how the way people behave w/ll be affected; nevertheless, /t /s thought that when Cov/d-19 /s comb/ned w/th the pandem/cs of phys/cal /nact/v/ty, there w/ll be greater harms /n the upcom/ng years /n terms of health and health related expenses (Hall, 2020). To Lachance (2020), the restr/ct/ons showed some adverse effects on the le/sure act/v/t/es. Espec/ally, recreat/onal act/v/t/es, sports act/v/t/es, parks, tours and tour/sm are among the sectors that were affected by the process whereas trad/t/onal volunteer/ng related to le/sure-based act/v/t/es are also among the sectors that were affected. ...
Full-text available
Based on the research articles published in the literature on the effects of COVID-19, this study aims to present a suggestion for the behaviors that are predicted to occur in terms of recreational activities when the pandemic process ends. From this point of view, a descriptive search was made in the literature according to the criteria determined by the researchers. As a result of the descriptive search, 21 articles published in 2020-2021 and suitable for the criteria were accessed. Emphasis has been placed on including the concepts of COVID-19, leisure time, recreation and physical activity as keywords in the articles. When the articles were examined, it was seen that the inability of individuals to efficiently manage the increase in leisure time due to their lockdown during the isolation process will create a need for leisure time after the lockdown process. It has been concluded that facilities and recreation leaders should be ready to meet the potential need in order to effectively manage recreational activities after the pandemic process, to realize appropriate orientation to activities and to produce free time programs for the needs of individuals.
... While before quarantine, men and women engaged equally in other leisure activities (eating out, meeting friends and relatives), during quarantine, watching TV, movies, or videos, playing games on the phone aimlessly and exploring new things were preferred by women (Zhuo & Zacharias, 2021). Also, volunteering and engagement in the community were realized differently, and some of those activities were moved to online spaces (Lachance, 2021). ...
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many European countries, including Czechia and Slovakia, enforced restrictions on the movement of people. This paper demonstrates the structure of leisure activities during the pandemic in these two Central European countries. We used the Catalogue of Leisure Activities (CaLA), which allows a comparison of the structure of activities by independent variables. Two aims were stated: to examine and compare the structure of leisure activities of Czechs and Slovaks, including the gender and educational level differences, and to prove the functionality of CaLA in international research. Data was collected via an online questionnaire and were representative in both countries by age and gender. Pearson's χ 2 was used to test statistical dependencies. Czechs and Slovaks differ significantly in leisure activities. No significant differences were found when comparing the leisure activities of men and women in both countries. On the contrary, education affected the structure of leisure activities significantly. ARTICLE HISTORY
A recent study conducted by Windon et al. has revealed a concerning decline of approximately 120% in volunteerism within nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Religion Census of 2012 reported that 25% of nonprofit organizations are religious congregations in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Christian organizational leaders (COLs) to adapt and lead their volunteers through an organizational crisis quickly. Unlike for-profit leaders who can depend on compensation to motivate their employees, nonprofit leaders must employ innovative leadership strategies to prevent burnout. This study explores how COLs handled the transition from in-person to virtual operations and highlights the best practices they used to motivate volunteers and avoid burnout among volunteers. The valuable insights shared by COLs in this study can be helpful for nonprofit leaders who aim to lead their volunteers effectively through crises and reduce volunteerism burnout.
Background: Working and volunteering in the reopening stages of the COVID-19 pandemic has looked different depending on the location, employment sector and nature of the job. Although researchers have begun exploring the impacts on adults, little is known about what the transition to a 'new normal' in the reopening stages has been like for youth, especially those with disabilities. Objective: To explore and compare the experiences and perspectives of youth with and without disabilities who were working, volunteering or seeking work during the re-opening stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Methods: We used a qualitative design involving semi-structured interviews with 16 youth (seven with a disability, nine without), aged 15-29 (mean 22 years). Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Five main themes were identified: (1) Mixed views on being onsite in the reopening stages; (2) Mixed views on remaining remote; (3) Hybrid model as the best of both worlds; (4) Mixed views on COVID-19 workplace safety in the reopening stages; and (5) Hopes, dreams and advice for the future. Apart from the first main theme, there were more similarities than differences between youth with and without disabilities. Conclusion: Our study highlights that youth encountered various work and volunteer arrangements during the reopening stages of the pandemic, and the personal preferences for particular models depend largely on their employment sector. The areas of agreement among youth highlight some longer-term impacts of the pandemic shutdowns and point to the need for greater mental health and career supports.
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This article examines the structures of leisure activities and leisure benefits of individuals who have recently retired. It also explores the contribution of leisure activities and benefits to a higher life satisfaction at this phase of life. The study is based on in‐person quantitative interviews with 383 retirees in an Israeli national sample survey. Results indicate that there are 13 factors of leisure activities and five factors of leisure benefits, all of which are interrelated. Six of the activity factors contribute significantly to retirees' life satisfaction (high culture and ‘dolce‐vita’, free out of home activities, spirituality and enrichment, popular culture, following generation, and independent home activities). The only leisure benefit that indicates a significant influence on life satisfaction is essentiality. The results of this study support and clarify the Activity Theory, and enhance understanding of the role of leisure in achieving a high level of life satisfaction, which is equivalent to a successful adaptation to retirement.
Sport event volunteers have predominantly been examined in able-bodied events using quantitative methods. Studies examining the volunteer experience have focused on its relationship with different constructs, resulting in a siloed body of literature in which a holistic understanding of the volunteer experience remains poor. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between key constructs (satisfaction, motivation, commitment, and sense of community) and the first author’s (E.L. Lachance) volunteer experience in a para-sport event. The analysis of the narrative using a volunteer experience conceptual framework composed of the key volunteer constructs identified two themes: (a) the power of sense of community and (b) the volunteer role as a source of dissatisfaction. Contributions include the volunteer experience conceptual framework and the relationships between the four constructs and the volunteer experience. Event managers should implement strategies to create a strong sense of community to enhance their volunteers’ experience.
The advent of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has transformed conventional in-person volunteering on-site into online volunteering and civic participation at a physical distance. This chapter reviews online volunteering in terms of what, where, when, who, and why. Through four cases, namely Online Volunteering (United Nations), VolunteerMatch, Virtual Volunteering Projects, and GoVolunteer, this chapter proceeds to explore the nature, scope, context, type of work performed, demographics, and motivations of online volunteers. It concludes that online volunteering will continue to increase for its cost-effectiveness but at the expense of time and operational cost in adopting ICTs. This chapter concludes with the future trends of online volunteering.
As a pivotal part of the nonprofit and voluntary sector, community sport organizations provide opportunities for active participation, social engagement, and community cohesion. This study examined the nature and impact of organizational capacity in one nonprofit community sport club to identify factors that affect the ability of this organization to fulfill its mandate and provide sport opportunities in the community. Hall et al.'s (2003) multidimensional framework of human resources, financial, relationships/ networks, infrastructure and process, and planning and development capacity was used. The study incorporated interviews with board members and coaches as well as active-member researcher observations (Adler & Adler, 1987). Key strengths and challenges of each capacity dimension were uncovered, and connections among the dimensions were revealed. The relatively greater importance of human resources and planning and development capacity for goal achievement was identified. The findings support the use of a multidimensional approach for generating a comprehensive understanding of organizational capacity in community sport, and for identifying where and how capacity may be enhanced.
Virtual volunteering can be defined as a type of civic engagement where the volunteers perform their tasks using the Internet either from their home or other offsite locations. Although a comprehensive body of literature can be found concerning older adults’ involvement in traditional face-to-face volunteering, few studies exist on Internet-based volunteering. This study takes the initiative to generate new knowledge on how the Internet can play an active role in facilitating volunteerism among older people. It explores the demographic characteristics, motivation, and types of tasks performed by older adults while volunteering in a virtual environment. Given the emerging support infrastructure to facilitate virtual volunteering among older adults, this study sought to better comprehend the profiles and motivations of older virtual volunteers. In particular, the study wishes to understand if parallels could be drawn between on-site volunteering and online volunteering among older adults. Correspondingly, the study also explores whether participation in virtual volunteering by older adults increased their sense of belonging. A qualitative inquiry is performed to address these issues. This study is an attempt to gather baseline empirical descriptions of these phenomena so that future research has the scope to refine the relevant theories in this field.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19
  • N Callos
Callos, N. (2020, January 25). Volunteer at the Olympics: 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games and beyond. Volunteer Forever. Government of Ontario. (n.d.). Stopping the spread of COVID-19. stopping-spread-covid-19
Individual giving and volunteering: Giving Australia
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McGregor-Lowndes, M., Crittall, M., Conroy, D., & Keast, R. (2017). Individual giving and volunteering: Giving Australia 2016. Brisbane, Australia: Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Virtual volunteering
  • V Murray
  • Y Harrison
Murray, V., & Harrison, Y. (2005). Virtual volunteering. In J. L. Brudney (Ed.), Emerging areas of volunteering (pp. 33-50). Indianapolis, IN: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.