COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

We have created this Frequently Asked Questions page to respond to questions about ECVO services and offer guidance to non-profits facing uncertainty around the pandemic. As many other resource areas have emerged, we’re focusing our on questions of capacity and operations during COVID-19. You’ll find links below to other websites that have resources that may be more suited to your organization at this time.

If you have any questions you would like to ask ECVO staff or that you believe would be valuable to Edmonton non-profits, please submit your questions using the short form at the bottom of this post and we will endeavour to respond quickly. 

Where possible, we will be working with professionals and experts to use the information presented here is from informed sources.

ECVO’s Frequently Asked Questions list focuses mainly on questions of capacity and operations for non-profits in Edmonton and in Alberta. 

Depending on your particular mandate or subsector, you may find answers unique to your case at some of these other growing resources areas around the web:

Provincial

National

ECVO Services

As for Tuesday, March 17, all ECVO staff will work remotely until further notice. We receive all emails and voicemails as normal, although please expect slightly longer response times.

ECVO staff have been directed to cancel all non-essential in-person meetings for the foreseeable future. We are available digitally and are prepared to utilize platforms such as Zoom and Slack to continue conversations via video conference or instant-messaging, as needed. 

Please reach out to your main organizational contact to discuss options to stay connected.

We have made the decision to suspend all upcoming programs up to at least the end of April. This includes:

  • Alberta Board Member Essentials – March 13-14
  • inVESt: Constructing the Foundation – March 26
  • Sustainability Champions workshop series – April 2-3
  • Edmonton Volunteer Fair – April 25

We will release updates as soon as possible regarding our next steps with these and other programs. Any registration costs will be refunded. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

We have made the unfortunate decision to cancel this year’s Volunteer Fair that was scheduled for April 25. Those who have registered for a booth will be refunded, and we will send an update regarding our plans for National Volunteer Week shortly.

In response to COVID-19, ECVO has adopted new policies to account for scenarios such as the current pandemic or other crises. Click here to read the policy in full.

Workplace Capacity

We recommend the Government of Alberta’s Non-Profit Preparedness Checklist as a great place to start.

Based on our experiences and those of other non-profit organizations, effective remote work takes some patience, preparation and open-mindedness. 

Employers and employees may wish to continue working from home after experiencing a new way of working. To formalize your work from home arrangements, download and customize our Telework Policy Template and our Telework Request Form (both .docx files).

Some of our favourite resources:

We encourage the use of online platforms to stay connected with clients and stakeholders. Numerous platforms offer free limited access that should cover your meeting and communications needs. 

Here are a few of our preferred options:

  • Zoom Video Conferencing: online application for video conferencing. The Basic (Free) tier allows unlimited 1-to-1 video conferences, as well as group video conferencing up to 40 minutes and 100 participants. (zoom.us)
  • Slack: a chat/instant-messaging service that allows for direct conversation between users in a chat room format, including the ability to upload/share files and documents and integration with services such as Google Drive and Office 365. 1-to-1 voice and video conferencing is also available on the Free tier. (slack.com)

Considering the massive influx of new users to videoconferencing services, there will certainly be some challenges when it comes to facilitating efficient and effective conversations.

Whether it’s at the beginning of your videoconference or sent with the agenda, here are some simple guidelines to effective videoconferencing:

  • Prepare your device – whether it’s your phone, a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, test drive the software or, failing that, ensure at the very least that your settings allow access to your camera and microphone.
  • Use the mute button  every platform has options to temporarily mute microphones and block cameras. Using mute prevents interruptions from speakers as well as background noise and movement.
  • Assign a meeting chair – As with any meeting, a chair will help keep conversations flowing and on-topic, and ensure all participants have a chance to speak. 
  • Keep an eye out for participants who are having trouble being heard. It could be that they left their microphone muted or they could be having audio issues, so allow for them to fix the issue and catch up to the conversation.
  • Be patient – many are adjusting to these new processes and doing so with additional distractions, such as children at home. Preparation and understanding is key to mitigate some of the challenges, but be.

An outbreak like COVID-19 can have a strong effect on mental health. We encourage employers to recognize the impact that COVID-19 will have on their teams and be open-minded and understanding of the various stressors that could be at play, including economic uncertainty, increased isolation, and pre-existing medical conditions. 

The resources below will help you manage mental health concerns proactively and understand what to do if somebody in your vicinity is having a mental health emergency. 

Community-specific Questions

Please refer to the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council’s COVID-19 webpage for frequent updates and advice pertaining to Edmonton’s seniors. 

Resources

The Government of Alberta’s COVID Self-Assessment Tool is a very straightforward tool to help direct you to the appropriate response to your symptoms.

The City of Edmonton maintains an up-to-date webpage with information regarding the COVID-19 response, including service interruptions for amenities, rec centres, schools, seniors centres, and more. 

The Government of Alberta maintains a web page with up-to-date information on the pandemic, its impacts, and responses around the province.

Up-to-date information is being published on the World Health Organization’s website here.