FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Be A Neighbor Campaign Sounds the Alarm on 6.5M Weekly Volunteer Shortage;
Issues Urgent Call-to-Action to Close the #VolunteerGap
Washington, DC Short 38,000 Volunteers Per Week
DALLAS, TX (April 29, 2020) — Today Be A Neighbor Campaign released new data showing a nationwide shortage of 6.5 million volunteers and issued an urgent call-to-action to close the #VolunteerGap. Washington, DC is short 75,000 volunteers per week, and across DC, Virginia and Maryland the shortage amounts to over 315,000 people.
Hundreds of thousands of food pantries, shelters, employment agencies and other nonprofits form the safety net in communities across America, and they rely on over 70 million volunteers. As layoffs and furloughs surge, demand for services is escalating at the same time many potential volunteers are staying home and shortages are hitting nonprofits hard. Many food banks are reaching crisis levels as over half of them rely entirely on volunteers.
That leaves organizations like the Capital Area Food Bank, Our Minds Matter with the Josh Anderson Foundation, and Court Watch Montgomery challenged to meet the needs of the people they serve. “80% of our local nonprofit partners are facing major disruptions and financial challenges, as well as a severe shortage of their typical volunteers,” states Matthew Gayer at Catalogue for Philanthropy of Greater Washington.
A state-by-state breakdown of the 6.5 million volunteer shortage is available at www.beaneighborcampaign.com/volunteergap. There, anyone can sign up to be a potential volunteer, and Be a Neighbor Campaign will match them to local nonprofits in need of help. Nonprofits may also freely use the Be A Neighbor platform to push their urgent projects and calls for assistance to the national bank of volunteers.
“Just as hospitals are the front-line for the healthcare crisis, food banks, shelters and other nonprofits are on the front-line of the economic crisis as COVID-19 puts unprecedented strain on every community,” said Rob Peabody, founder of Be a Neighbor Campaign. “Lines at food banks are growing. Calls to mental health hotlines are increasing. Beds at homeless shelters are filling. These needs cannot be met without millions of volunteers stepping up.”
“Volunteer shortages and staffing shortfalls are colliding with substantial increases in demand for services, throwing nonprofits already operating on tight budgets into a crisis,” said Scott Case, Chair, Network for Good DAF. “They’re on the frontlines helping those the pandemic is hitting hardest. They’re doing it safely, and they need us all to step up and help.”
For more information go to www.beaneighborcampaign.com/volunteergap and spread the word on social media with #VolunteerGap. Connect with Be A Neighbor on social media:
About Be a Neighbor Campaign
Be A Neighbor Campaign is a movement to help nonprofit organizations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign does this by providing nonprofits free access to volunteer mobilization and management technology as well as a national database of volunteers. The Campaign was launched by VOMO and Builders + Backers in March 2020 to get our nation ready to serve (safely) at scale through frontline community organizations.
VOMO is powering a global volunteer movement by providing organizations and networks with the tools needed to discover and initiate projects, connect to community causes, and to measure and amplify the impact of volunteering. VOMO leverages the power of technology to unleash a generation to change the world for good.
About Builders + Backers
Builders + Backers exists to unleash a wave of ideation and experimentation to solve our country’s greatest challenges and create a future where everyone, in every community, thrives. Created from three years of research, we share proven frameworks and tools with local entrepreneurial thinkers and doers to equip them to accelerate their communities’ economic engines and stimulate flourishing. We scour the landscape looking for stories to inspire the nation to build, and we back the most promising ideas so they can have an impact at national scale. We believe we can come together by building together. To learn more, visit www.buildersandbackers.com