The following notes are summaries from peer-to-peer conversations amongst coalitions about how they are staying connected with their members and supporting them through this time of uncertainty. All identifying information has been removed
What are folks doing to connect with members? How are folks streamlining communications to not bombard folks?
- Most coalitions are organizing regular calls with programs on the phone or video conference. Coalitions are holding space for local programs to process, ask questions, and get support. One coalition shared this example:
We have been holding calls with member program leadership several times per week. Tomorrow we are experimenting with a membership-wide “Community Care” zoom call that is open to all staff. The idea is to bring people together to breathe and ground, then break them into zoom “breakout rooms” for smaller group conversations with peers, then come back together to close. We are also convening our “learning communities” via zoom (shelter workers, youth advocates, etc). We are trying to make time and space for just connecting and slowing down, as well as sharing lots of info
- Many coalitions are creating a landing page for their local programs to check and hosting regular/weekly check-ins with local program leaders
- Several coalitions are also putting together shared online folders with editable documents
- Folks talked about the importance of looking at all the communications channels available (public website, private members-only website, listservs) and posting things appropriately
- There was a range of responses around how often coalitions are sending e-communications. Some are sending e-blasts every 2-3 days with updated information. Others are trying to limit the amount of emails, but using other social media venues such as twitter and facebook
- Several coalitions also mentioned creating social media graphics
- Shared NNEDV’s resources with members
- Sharing information about immigration and resources for immigrants
- Reaching out to centers and maintaining scheduled online opportunities (such as affinity groups, webinars, etc.)
- Offering online learning opportunities for how to provide webinars and trainings related to digital advocacy and tele counseling.
What technology platforms are coalitions using to stay in connection with local programs?
Please note, these platforms are not appropriate for providing services to survivors. For more information on technology for sexual assault advocacy work, please visit https://www.techsafety.org/digital-services-during-public-health-crises
- Google Hangouts
- Using Slack to get out updates coming from governor. Also using Skype with office platform. Also using listservs and coalition manager
- Using shared folders to keep track of emerging documents and share policy examples
- Emailing folks
- Using Google Docs, or other live document editing software, so member programs can access and update with what their services look like. It can continue to be modified as things change.
How are coalitions supporting programs in times of uncertainty, especially around fundraising and with SAAM coming up?
Ways some programs are adapting their fundraising and SAAM events include:
- Sending out a request online for donations, letting supporters know they’re still working. For teachers and people at home, going to do free Facebook Live trainings.
- A number of programs have decided to hold major April fundraising events through Facebook Live. People are getting creative.
- Another group is now holding a No Dinner: dinner to provide an opportunity for community members to donate to us. They made up fancy invitations and asked people to stay home and donate what they would have spent on an elaborate dinner out.
- NSVRC also released a guide on engaging communities online during Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Additional resources are being compiled under SAAM 2020 Ideas page
How are coalitions supporting local programs to make decisions around advocacy services?
On a recent call with coalition directors, one director posed this question:
- For people that have survivors coming to their centers, is anyone saying they’d rather do phone advocacy? We have some programs that are concerned about anyone coming to the center. One city municipality just shut down all their services. We have several centers that have exams on site. Other than telling people to wash hands and follow all the other guidance, is it an individual decision whether or not to allow survivors to meet in-person?
Summaries of peer coalition responses:
- Created levels for folks to self-identify within. We gave them ideas but left it up to their discretion. We’ve also been reminding people that they need to be concerned about their HR policies. We’ve recommended that people reach out to their insurance agencies around workers’ comp and OSHA coverage that may be different from previously issued guidance. Programs have to adhere to what their policy says.
- Different programs are doing different things in our areas. It’s the program’s choice. Ones that are doing remote services are just outlining different levels of service they have. Some centers were already using telehealth services that they are expanding. What’s important is issuing guidance on verbal vs written consent when providing telehealth services. We have an informed consent form that folks using telehealth have to sign. A written signature is preferred. We’ve talked with programs about doing verbal consent and then later getting written consent when they are able to meet in person, or try to do through email. Depends on threat level. Southeastern part of the state has more confirmed cases.
- In our area, most of our centers are providing almost exclusively remote counseling to restrict face-to-face interactions to protect both staff and survivors.
Online Facilitation Techniques and Resources
As coalitions move many of their interactions to online platforms, many of us are in need of ideas for how to effectively facilitate engaging meetings over technology. The following resources provide examples and ideas.