Celebrating Volunteers – National Volunteer Week 2017

Did #NVW17 sneak up on you? There’s still time to act. Below are a few last-minute ideas. A week recognizing volunteers is nice but really showing #VolunteerLove means a commitment to your volunteers all 52 weeks a year.

And showing #VolunteerLove is more that appreciation. We too often think of recognition as appreciation. The sincerest recognition though is putting our members’ ideas and work into action, letting their work generate outcomes. Recognition comes when volunteers see their efforts made a difference for the association. Are you creating volunteer opportunities that have results? Are you crediting the results to the efforts of member volunteers?

Appreciation is important and can come in simple ways. Things like:

  • Arranging for free valet parking at an event
  • Shout out on social media
  • LinkedIn recommendation
  • Volunteer lounge at your annual meeting with coffee, water, free WiFi
  • Having the CEO and other organization leaders present for the entire volunteer recognition event (no rushing in after its started or the all too common greet & skeedadle to that important next meeting)


So yes, go ahead and mark #NVW17 – here’s the Points of Light toolkit with downloadable logos. Copy a few cool idea from other associations like the International Institute of Business Analysis or American Marketing Association. Consider these last-minute ideas:

  • Blast email with heart felt thanks
  • Personal email thanks from staff to individual volunteers they work with
  • Post pictures of volunteers in action from the past year on your social media channels with #NVW17
  • Invite your chapters to post pictures of volunteers in action with #ivolunteer – then after the week feature in a photo gallery
  • Blog post highlighting the results of the work of volunteers the past year


And also, think about how you can celebrate volunteers all year long! Here are a few past posts that may get you thinking.