National Volunteer Week 

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is a week in April when organizations show appreciation for their volunteers and celebrate the hard work they do. Organizations might host appreciation activities for their community of volunteers or inspire more powerful work with additional projects and initiatives.

National Volunteer Week 2024 will take place from April 21 through 27 and occurs annually during the third week of April. This week of appreciation and celebration dates back to 1974, when designated through an executive order by President Richard Nixon. Since then, American presidents continue to honor this tradition by setting each National Volunteer Week.

April is also Global Volunteer Month, continuing the celebration of volunteers and inspiring individuals to get involved and organizations to keep doing essential work. Global Volunteer Month and National Volunteer Week are great ways to show your volunteers your gratitude for their service and time while expanding your reach and impact.

Why Is Celebrating Your Volunteers Important?

Your organization’s volunteers are the backbone of your operations. Without their dedication and passion, you likely couldn’t have the desired reach and impact you want or have. Volunteers connect with your community and make change happen.

Showing your volunteers appreciation for their phenomenal efforts and dedication can benefit them and your organization in many ways, including:

  • Increasing volunteer retention: Volunteers want to feel appreciated for their work. They do this work without pay, giving their time, resources, and even money to your organization’s cause. Volunteers who feel unappreciated or undervalued will likely leave and seek volunteering opportunities elsewhere. When you show frequent and enthusiastic appreciation and love for your volunteers, teams, and projects, volunteers see how valued and necessary their work and skills are, encouraging them to stay and continue with your organization.
  • Encouraging volunteer growth: When volunteers feel appreciated and welcome at organizations, they’re more likely to get more involved. Volunteering can help individuals gain valuable skills and experience they can use to deepen their involvement. They might start taking more leadership opportunities or exploring other projects. As individuals get more involved, their passion can spread to others for increased retention.
  • Fostering better volunteer outreach: Your volunteers are valuable sources of outreach for new volunteers. They passionately share their experiences with friends and family members, while talking about their work online. They can inspire others to get involved and invite them to events and projects. When volunteers feel appreciated, they’ll share their positive experiences with others, strengthening first impressions with new volunteers.

Volunteer appreciation can help your organization maintain healthy and positive relationships with your volunteer base. With happy and content volunteers, you can invest in more projects and expand your reach to continue helping people.

With happy and content volunteers, you can invest in more projects and expand your reach to continue helping people.

How Can Your Organization Celebrate National Volunteer Week?

When your organization wants to appreciate your volunteers this April, you can implement various strategies to help you connect with your volunteers and show your appreciation.

1. Send Personalized Thank-Yous to Volunteers 

Volunteers feel appreciated when they’re recognized for their work, even in the smallest ways. Simple thank-you notes or emails for their service or contributions can help volunteers feel seen by your organization, encouraging them to return. For the full effect, be sure to address the volunteer by name and add personal details, like the project they worked on.

2. Develop Gifts for Your Volunteers

Giving out merchandise and other goodies is a great way to show your appreciation to volunteers on-site. Many organizations create T-shirts, water bottles, stickers, and other items for their various campaigns. These items help spread awareness and work as additional marketing materials, but they can also increase volunteer connections to your organization.

Volunteers can feel rewarded for their work while taking something with them to trigger their good memories when interacting with items later. Gifts can be especially powerful with first-time volunteers. By receiving a reward for volunteering, new individuals can have a stronger first impression of your organization, encouraging them to return for additional opportunities.

3. Organize and Host Appreciation Events

Events allow you to appreciate your volunteers in person, thanking them for their effort and dedication to projects and to your organization. Some events you can organize for volunteers include the following:

  • Dinners and potlucks: Hosting a meal for your volunteers can help them feel appreciated in a more casual environment. Big meals can also help volunteers connect with others in the organization. They can talk with individuals from other projects to make friends and learn about other opportunities.
  • Award shows: Many volunteers go above and beyond with their work. Award events celebrate the specific accomplishments that individuals and teams complete to help appreciate their work. Even paper plate awards, where each volunteer gets a personalized award, can help volunteers feel recognized and appreciated.
  • Formal galas: Formal galas and balls give your volunteers an opportunity to dress up and celebrate their accomplishments. At galas, you can highlight the importance of your volunteers by treating them like celebrities with a red carpet and seats with name cards.

Events are very customizable, allowing your organization to adjust the details to fit your volunteers and their needs.

4. Highlight Volunteer Work Online

Your online presence can also support volunteer appreciation efforts. Social media posts, blogs, and website pages are excellent opportunities to highlight volunteer accomplishments. Some ways to use your online activity to appreciate your volunteers include:

  • Posting a volunteer of the week or day: During National Volunteer Week or Global Volunteer Month, you can celebrate your volunteers with spotlight posts. Choose one volunteer who has accomplished something great or joined recently and share their good work with your followers. The online attention can validate the volunteer’s effort and allow them to share information with friends and family for greater reach.
  • Showcasing specific projects and initiatives: Some projects get more attention than others, which can help attract volunteers, but also make others feel undervalued. During National Volunteer Week, bring attention to your underrepresented projects and the individuals behind them. They can feel more seen and appreciated by your organization, proving their work is important.
  • Tagging individuals in pictures: Tagging on social media posts allows individuals to share content on their pages and with their loved ones. Tagging volunteers when in pictures can bring their attention to your posts, while allowing them to highlight their work with others.

Some volunteers might not want the attention of public pictures and posts. As part of your onboarding, ask volunteers to sign release forms to allow your organization to take and use their photos.

Manage and Communicate With Volunteers With Volgistics 

When you want to form strong relationships with your volunteers and streamline operations, Volgistics can handle many essential management and communication features, like scheduling and assigning volunteers to tasks and teams, organizing volunteer profiles, and sending information volunteers.

Whether you want to share information about upcoming events or invite volunteers to appreciation events, Volgistics can support your needs. Request a free trial today and discover how Volgistics can assist your volunteer organization.

Manage and communicate with volunteers with Volgistics. Contact us.