Start a mutual aid network with Zelos
Simple software for managing a mutual aid community
Address local needs
Coordinated requests provide targeted support where it is most needed
Create collective impact
A coordinated mutual aid network can achieve more significant outcomes than individuals acting alone.
Build a resilient community
Encourage your community to connect and support one another
A very simple app for connecting your community members
Coordinate mutual aid effort that actually moves the needle
Coordinating mutual aid groups in your community can bring about numerous benefits and positive outcomes. A well-managed mutual aid network enables smooth coordination among volunteers, recipients, and other stakeholders. Coordination is essential to ensure requests for assistance are promptly addressed, and volunteers can efficiently contribute their time and skills.
Participating in a mutual aid network also empowers individuals to take an active role in helping others. It allows community members to contribute their skills and resources, fostering a sense of agency and meaningful engagement.
Zelos Team Management is a simple signup app for requesting assistance. It is an easy way to source volunteer hours or items from a friendly community.
The features include simple signup, live chats and mass messaging. The interface is very easy to use, so everyone can start using the app without a training session.
How to manage a mutual aid network?
When managing a mutual aid network, it’s crucial to set up a well-organized system. Proper management allows the network to navigate challenges, maintain accountability, and make a meaningful impact on the community it serves.
Request Intake and Triage:
✅ Set up a process for individuals to submit their requests for assistance. This can be done through a dedicated email address, online form, or a telephone hotline. Ensure that the process is simple and accessible to all members of the community. Submitting a help request should not require downloading an app or creating an account.
✅ Designate a team or coordinator responsible for triaging requests. They will be responsible for reviewing each request and determining its urgency and validity.
Categorization and Matchmaking:
✅ Create categories for different types of assistance that your mutual aid network can provide. For example, categories could include food support, transportation, childcare, or emotional support.
✅ Match the help requests with the appropriate volunteers who can help fulfill those needs. You should consider the skills and availability of volunteers, as well as the specific needs expressed in the requests. If you’re using Zelos Team Management to coordinate, set up custom fields for tasks and volunteer profiles.
Communication with Recipients:
✅ Once you find a suitable volunteer, communicate with the individual seeking assistance. Inform them of the relevant details about how help will be provided.
✅ If a request cannot be immediately fulfilled, inform them of the steps being taken to address their needs.
✅ Keep track of available volunteers and their skills in a spreadsheet or centralized database. Zelos Team Management provides you with a memberlist that is perfect for identifying suitable volunteers for specific tasks.
✅ Regularly communicate with volunteers to update them on new requests, upcoming events, and any changes in the network’s operations.
Follow-Up and Support:
✅ Follow up with the aid recipients to ensure their needs were met.
✅ Provide emotional and logistical support to both volunteers and recipients throughout the process.
Safety and Boundaries:
✅ Establish guidelines for volunteers to maintain appropriate boundaries while providing assistance.
✅ Make sure that volunteers are aware of their limitations. When specialized help is required (e.g., legal or medical), they should refer the individual to a professional.
Bring people together and drive solidarity
“Zelos was really helpful to us. It was very intuitive, well thought out, practical and made our food delivery service work smoothly.”
Kerri Badger, Community Pastor and Parish Safeguarding Representative of St. Paul’s Church, Salisbury, UK