What should you do if someone in your firm comes to you seeking approval to provide volunteer assistance in the community during this COVID-19 outbreak?
Even if you haven’t received any requests, I am going to share an idea for you to implement in your firm that might also turn into a morale builder.
With all of the restrictions being imposed upon most states right now, this might be the time to think outside the box to help those who are looking for something tangible to do to make things better.
I’ve drafted some thoughts you can modify for your own use in your firms. There are spots only you can fill in. You’ll see what I mean below.
How To Handle Volunteerism The Coronavirus Crisis?
Here is a suggestion for you to consider, as well as a memo you can distribute internally when this question arises. Feel free to copy and edit it to match your style and culture.
As you know, for decades our firm has believed in nothing short of selfless and compassionate community service and volunteering. This is made evident by the policy we have to allow everyone in the firm [X number] of paid volunteer hours per month. Our community involvement is one of the cornerstones of our firm.
Some of you have asked if you would be able to continue to contribute that same volunteer spirit during this Coronavirus crisis by going outside of your homes and offering your assistance to those most in need.
I have a few thoughts for you.
Number two, given the fact that most states have already limited travel outside of the home to those providing or who need essential services, unless you are one of those providing or need those services or supplies, I would ask that at this time you pass on physically volunteering to help in our communities.
As difficult as this is for those of us who feel the need to do something to help right now, we must balance that with the need to flatten the curve, meaning to reduce the spread of this insidious virus by keeping ourselves out of harm’s way.
What I would like to offer is the ability for you to donate up to [$100] per person to give to the local organization or cause you think best fits your and our passions and priorities.
We will reimburse you for that contribution.
When this crisis passes and state and federal government tell us that the reality of being carriers or victims of this virus has passed and physical distancing is no longer necessary, we will then happily revert to our normal volunteer policy which is  hours of approved volunteer time per [quarter].
Either way, make sure you turn in an expense report to be reimbursed for those donations you will be selflessly donating on your and our behalf.
Nothing will make me happier than when we return to a time when we can resume our traditional way of giving in this firm. It will happen. It is our way of life. I suspect it will become even stronger as a result of what we are all going through right now.
If you have any questions at all, or any suggestions about how to make virtual volunteering like this even more effective, please do not hesitate to call, email, or text me.
Thank you. Stay safe.[Pat Sampson, Managing Member]”
Let Me Know How I Can Help You
If you’d like to discuss this in greater detail, this is where you can find me.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to maximize business development efforts to grow their practices. Known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement marketing and business development efforts that are more relevant to their current and potential clients. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, voice marketing, flash briefings, and livestreaming. She also helps lead law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.
If you would like to engage Nancy for an hour to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.