On April 24 starts National Volunteer Week in Canada. Now, we know that dates vary from one country to another. And even if this celebration is specifically Canadian, we see no reason why you couldn't take advantage of it to celebrate your volunteers, your volunteering programs, and the great projects you have been participating in to do good and give back to society.
Volunteer week is a nice opportunity to recognize your team's impact but also to acknowledge and support volunteerism and volunteering projects by giving them the visibility they deserve.
As you strive to develop and pursue volunteering programs that match your values and ambitions, it makes sense to pause for a while and appreciate the great work you have done so far. This is also what Volunteer week is all about.
Empathy in action
This year, the Canadian Volunteer Week focuses on an important topic that will most certainly resonate with all volunteers across the globe: Volunteering Is Empathy In Action.
Isn't there a better way to define volunteering and underline the importance of volunteerism?
It is clear that volunteering activities have been through complex times these past few months and were forced to adapt to the covid19 situation. However, a huge wave of solidarity quickly spread from the very beginning of the pandemic, across Europe for instance with a doubling in volunteers registrations in France. Whether it is by helping Seniors with their grocery lists or taking the time to support the disabled, welcoming refugees, or educating children, volunteers have been creative in the ways to do good and help in the best way possible, even in lockdown, even in remote, even from far away.
This is why "empathy in action" is the best way to define what volunteers have been doing for so long and keep doing with energy, motivation, and optimism. Don't miss the opportunity to shed light on the great work accomplished so far and all the upcoming inspiring projects!
How to launch a Volunteer Week campaign
Launching a campaign, both internal with your teams and thus, your volunteers and external, for your audience, your partners, can be an overwhelming task. This doesn't have to be. We decided to give you a few simple ideas to celebrate Volunteer Week, in Canada...or elsewhere.
For your volunteers
They show motivation, they are always present to give a hand, show support, advocate for the causes that matter to them, take the time to participate in activities, help others... They do that without expecting anything in return, they act with humility and don't need to take the floor or sing their praises. Still. Wouldn't it be nice, for once, to give them a voice?
- You can throw an appreciation party: nothing too fancy but just a small gathering with your teams during which you just say "Thank you".
- You can let them share their experience: This can also be a great opportunity for each of them to talk about their experience.
- You can present the causes: You can also think of presenting the volunteering programs that you have been participating in since the beginning of this year, like a throwback party.
- You can reward your volunteers: they most probably don't need a medal or an expensive gift, but an appreciation gift, a thank you card.
- You can organize a relaxing activity: they took care of others, why not let them enjoy one afternoon to relax, have fun, bond and take their minds off the whole seriousness, just for a moment?
For your audience
They know your organization but they should also know about the causes you are supporting. Whether you need materials or not, you can think of quick-win ideas to let your audience know about your volunteering programs.
- Interview your volunteers: their feedback and their experience is the best content you will ever produce. You can publish that as a video or an interview article on your website and distribute it via your social media.
- Let people know about the nonprofits: you're supporting causes? Cool. Let them know which ones. You can present the nonprofits and their projects and make sure to add relevant links so your readers can find out more about the causes: who knows, maybe there will be new supporters and volunteers joining!
- Focus on visuals: Do you have pictures, video snippets, or memories you want to share? They don't need to be shared exclusively internally. Volunteering can also be a great way to show the world the kind of values your organization has. Don't hesitate to let them see who you are.
The power of technology
Social media, your website, your partners' channels... The things technology brought us, right?
What about using software for your volunteering programs? In your CSR and social impact strategy, making sure that your employees can volunteer easily and that your CSR teams can follow the status and progress of these programs are essential elements of project management. A software can seem complex but luckily, Optimy developed an all-in-one platform that fits your solution and remain intuitive and fun to use, both for your administrators and your applicants and employees. You don't have to take our word for it, you can find out yourself.