In addition to contributing to the community, research has shown that volunteers also benefit from their volunteering. They feel connected to their community, feel a sense of belonging, develop new social connections, and feel empowered to take action to address community needs. For some volunteers, the pandemic has meant stepping back from volunteering and those important connections, which can contribute to social isolation, increased stress and a reduced sense of purpose.
Organizations continue to be challenged with keeping those volunteers engaged during COVID-19 and reaching out to those feeling isolated. Developing and supporting connections to the organization and between volunteers – especially those unable to volunteer – becomes more important as concerns grow related to social isolation, mental health and wellness and COVID fatigue.