April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and April 18-24 is Volunteer Appreciation Week. Volunteer Appreciation Week was started in 1974 and is hosted today by Points of Light. We’ve curated this short list of resources to help you show your appreciation for your volunteers.
Why Celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week and Month
During the pandemic, organizations and volunteers both got a reminder of how important they are to each other. For many volunteers, the loss of their volunteer work added to their isolation. For organizations, not being able to rely on their volunteers significantly reduced the services they could provide. As volunteers and organizations are slowly finding their way back to each other, organizations must think carefully about how to best use volunteers and make sure they show their appreciation.
According to the Urban Institute, pre-pandemic Americans volunteer 8.8 billion hours annually. Many communities, organizations, and programs rely on the work of volunteers to run smoothly. Obviously, we should celebrate our volunteers year-round, but having a specific week and month dedicated to volunteer appreciation can help you focus your efforts. Some organizations also see increased volunteer engagement during the week or month of April.
How to Attract New Volunteers
If Covid hurt your volunteer program, you might need to attract new volunteers.
A virtual or in-person volunteer fair is a great way to attract new volunteers. If your organization is larger and has several programs or jobs to fill, you can hold an event on your own. However, smaller organizations might ask to participate in job fairs or volunteer fairs held by schools, companies, or larger organizations. If you are holding or attending a volunteer fair, make sure to have information about the types of volunteers you’re looking for available. You will also want to think about how you will follow up with those you meet at the fair.
Bring a Friend social events for your current volunteers are another great way to attract new volunteers. Most people enjoy the social aspect of volunteering and will volunteer more often if they do so with friends.
During the Great Resignation, many for-profit companies are looking for ways to help their employees find more meaning in their work. Many companies offer time-off specifically for volunteering or organize volunteer events for their employees. Working with their volunteer program is an easy way to start forming a relationship with a company and attract new volunteers.
If you don’t have an organized volunteer program or need to revamp the one you had before Covid, these articles have great ideas for getting started.
Ideas to Celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week and Month 2022
Finally, if you’re just looking for some ideas to show the love to your volunteers, these articles have you covered:
We’d love to know more about how you use volunteers and your plans for volunteer appreciation week and month. Drop us a line anytime.