Volunteers have long played a significant role in supporting nonprofits in their missions. However, despite the deep root of volunteerism in the United States, it has only been since 1974 that an organized effort was established to draw attention to volunteer contributions.
This year's National Volunteer Week, organized by the Points of Light, the now global nonprofit, will be celebrated April 18 - 24. The time is earmarked to recognize and celebrate the impact of volunteer service in communities across the world. Points of Light strives to shine a light upon individuals and groups working to solve society’s most significant challenges.
The staff at Points of Light recognize that “Doing good comes in many forms,” and all efforts deserve to be recognized and celebrated. At Detroit Philanthropy, we could not agree more. We are inspired daily by individuals and groups who recognize their power to do good, then use that power to make a difference by serving others.
How to Join the Movement and Celebrate Your Volunteers
Who is doing good for your organization? Showing gratitude during National Volunteer Week can help your volunteers feel appreciated while also inspiring others to take action. Here are a few ideas you might consider implementing:
- Share a video message from your executive director thanking volunteers and sharing their collective impact on the organization.
- Send a card or small gift to each volunteer’s home/office.
- Host a virtual meeting to thank and encourage volunteers.
- Post a volunteer slideshow on social media. Be sure to share both individual stories and the impact all volunteers had throughout the last year. Include pictures and videos, if possible.
- Highlight volunteerism in your April newsletter by sharing current volunteers’ stories and asking others to join in.
How Companies Can Join the Movement
Do you work for a company that values good corporate citizenship? Your organization can also recognize and celebrate National Volunteer Week by volunteering at your favorite charity. Don’t have a current charity partner? Consider asking your employees who they support and/or what causes are important to them.
Here are a few to consider:
- Collect non-perishable food and provide it to a local food bank or shelter.
- Host a blood drive.
- Coordinate a virtual story time or another type of entertainment hour for kids.
- Purchase arts and craft supplies for local art programs offering virtual programming.
- Drive those in need to get their COVID vaccine and to other medical appointments.
Reshaping Volunteerism in a Virtual World
Without the ability to gather in person, many nonprofit organizations have had to put their volunteer initiatives on hold. They find that they are struggling to find meaningful ways to keep these critical corporate partners engaged. If your organization is looking for options to reshape your volunteer effort, you will not want to miss our upcoming webinar.
Join Detroit Philanthropy and representatives from Delta Dental, Barton Malow, and DTE Energy for a live discussion about how nonprofits can overcome challenges and find success in a virtual world. The free webinar entitled, Corporate Volunteers: How to Virtually Engage Companies and Their Teams, will be held on April 20 from 2 - 3 pm. Pre-registration is required: click here to register.
What are you doing to celebrate your volunteers during National Volunteer Week or year-round? Let us know!
About Rachel M. Decker
Having spent nearly 20 years in the nonprofit sector as an effective and strategic fundraising and foundation executive, Detroit Philanthropy Founder and President, Rachel Decker is passionate about helping others, making meaningful connections, solving problems and, most importantly, creating impact in our community. With the founding of Detroit Philanthropy, she turned that passion into a commitment to champion philanthropy throughout metro Detroit as a philanthropic advisor, fundraising consultant and speaker.