National Volunteer Appreciation Week Tips

June 6, 2009

Seven tips and ideas that can be easily incorporated into national volunteer appreciation week celebrations:

1. Create the right atmosphere
In advance of the official national volunteer appreciation week, decorate with balloons and posters that generate excitement for the coming celebrations. Display your decorations at an entrance to communicate with all visitors the importance of your volunteers.

2. Host festive parties
Everyone loves a party and some recognition. Invite your organization’s director to make a few remarks to the volunteers at a national volunteer appreciation week party. A special catered lunch or dessert reception is a great way to commemorate national volunteer appreciation week.

3. Show off your volunteers
Show the organization just how great your volunteers are and give them a glimpse of their impact. During national volunteer appreciation week, share information about the number of volunteer hours worked, longest-standing volunteer, and other positive stories that are possible thanks to volunteers.

4. Build activities around a theme
Consider a theme to use as part of national volunteer appreciation week and then incorporate it into all events and materials. Making a DifferenceEssential Piece and Helping Hand are great national volunteer appreciation week themes.

5. Reward your volunteers
Thank your volunteers for their valuable contributions with certificates, awards and special gifts. If you don’t have an event to get all the volunteers together, display the volunteer gifts at your facility. Volunteers will have fun entering the building to pick up their gift. With a special emphasis on packaging and presentation, the gifts can serve as part of your national volunteer appreciation week decorations.

6. Reduce stress
Volunteers give their time in addition to all their other work and life responsibilities. Host a stress relief break for them during  national volunteer appreciation week. Ask volunteers to share ideas for reducing stress, review deep-breathing techniques and provide hands-on tools to recharge and refresh.

7. Have fun
Games and contests of all kinds are great for relieving stress and building teamwork between volunteers and staff. Plan a national volunteer appreciation week activity for all to participate in and be sure to award prizes to everyone.

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