Résumé : A volunteer effort by Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers has shown it can deliver significant research outcomes rapidly to help tackle COVID-19. Within two months, CLAIRE’s self-organising volunteers delivered the World’s first comprehensive curated repository of COVID-19-related datasets useful for drug-repurposing, drafted review papers on the role CT/X-ray scan analysis and robotics could play, and progressed research in other areas. Given the pace required and nature of voluntary efforts, the teams faced a number of challenges. These offer insights in how better to prepare for future volunteer scientific efforts and large scale, data-dependent AI collaborations in general. We offer seven recommendations on how to best leverage such efforts and collaborations in the context of managing future crises.