Volunteer Appreciation Week

By Lauren A. Wolfe posted Apr 10, 2014 10:13 AM


It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week!

And the perfect time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Appreciation Week focuses on the power of volunteerism as an integral aspect of community leadership and membership. Since then, the original emphasis on celebration has widened to include an effort to urge people to get out and volunteer in their communities. The week draws support from the President, associations, corporations and community groups around the country.

To me National Volunteer Appreciation Week is about two things:

  1. Inspiring and encouraging members to volunteer.
  2. Recognizing and rewarding volunteer leaders.

92.2% of association members reported volunteering with their association or another organization, according to ASAE’s Decision to Volunteer, which published the results of a survey of more than 26,000 association professionals. So it’s no surprise that volunteers are an essential resource for any organization, especially associations. Empower your members to get involved by making volunteer opportunities easy to access and in a format they find useful. The generous commitment and efforts of your volunteers should be acknowledged and recognized on a regular basis, however National Volunteer Week offers a formal opportunity to reward their efforts.

Here are a few ideas for how to celebrate with your membership:

  • Call volunteer leaders. Recognize the person, not the work.
  • Send volunteers thank you gifts. View our Volunteer Appreciation Pin Board on Pinterest.
  • Post a letter from your leadership on your website and community site.
  • Announce a “Volunteer of the Month” column. Each month highlight a new member.
  • Write a blog that encourages volunteers to share their stories.
  • Dedicate the April edition of your magazine to volunteering. Feature real stories and people.
  • Add “I VOLUNTEER!” badges to your members community profiles.
  • Host a Volunteer Appreciation Open House at your office or local restaurant.
  • Ask for more volunteers. There’s really no better time right?

Higher Logic not only admires volunteers, we volunteer – both in professional and personal communities – with over 25 organizations including:

  • BabyLove DC
  • Bike the US for MS
  • Capitol Area Food Bank, Oberlin College Alumni Association
  • Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals, GW Dance Marathon
  • Full Circle Home
  • Jubilee Jobs
  • Jumpstart Alumni
  • Luke House Community Meal Program
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Marshall Lions Club
  • Marshall Scholarship Foundation
  • Marshall Youth Club
  • Milwaukee Women’s Center Professional Clothing Drive
  • Northern Valley Youth Soccer League
  • Reading Partners, Friendship Chamberlin Elementary School
  • Salisbury Youth Association
  • So Other’s Might Eat (SOME) 5k Thanksgiving Turkey Trot
  • The American Cancer Association
  • The American Heart Association
  • The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
  • The ASAE Foundation
  • The Bradford Oaks Center
  • The National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • The Prostate Cancer Foundation, Movember
  • ThriveDC
  • Walk to Defeat ALS
  • Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN)

The result – thank your volunteers for their service so they will continue to feel appreciated and motivated to continue to serve. Volunteers are arguably your most important members. Take care of them, and they will take care of you. Word-of-mouth is still one the best recruitment tools.

Why do you volunteer and would you recommend it?