National Volunteers Week can be a great asset to your volunteer organisation. I often recommend it as a key event in the calendar for my clients. Used right, it can improve volunteer motivation, recruit volunteers and raise awareness. Its potential is worth planning for.
What is National Volunteers Week?
Volunteers Week is an annual celebration for many third sector organisations. It takes place in several countries around the world. Specifically, it takes place in England on the 1 – 7th of June each year. The week was set up in 1984 to celebrate volunteering in England. Now, NCVO runs it, and voluntary sector organisations take part from all over the UK. See their website for further details: https://volunteersweek.org/
Why is Volunteers Week Good for Encouraging Volunteering?
The week is a time of celebration. It provides an opportunity to publicise the great work volunteers do. It is also a time to show appreciation to volunteers. Voluntary work can feel unnoticed and unappreciated. With this week, your organisation can bring it into the limelight.
Other annual events, such as Small Charity Week, can also be used in this way. Yet, NCVO National Volunteers Week is all about the volunteers. The Volunteers Week logo is a star. By making this the symbol of volunteerism, it demonstrates that volunteers are considered ‘stars’. The event is a week-long celebration of their hard work. It puts them at the forefront and praises their efforts. Utilising this event can help demonstrate your gratitude to your volunteers. Publicly showing your appreciation can also encourage new volunteers to join as they can see how they will be valued.
By publicly saying thank you and linking with the event, you can also raise awareness of your cause. Making people aware of the important work your volunteers do will draw attention to why they do it.
How Else Can It Be Utilised?
It is important to plan in advance. A good marketing strategy will use this week to its full potential. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of National Volunteers Week:
- Praise your existing volunteers. This is vital for retaining volunteers and reducing churn rate in your team
- Use the week to launch a new volunteering project or volunteer training programme
- Publish statistics on the impact volunteers have made
- Raise awareness of your voluntary work through:
- Social media
- Radio interviews
- Press releases and interviews
- Take part/attend other local volunteers week events
- Say thank you to your current volunteers with:
- Volunteer rewards. Give certificates and awards to your volunteers
- An awards ceremony, social/meal or another event
- Thank yous in the press and on social media
- Hold a volunteer open day and recruit new volunteers
- Use as a topic to engage with funding authorities and grant makers
- Use as a conversation starter to network with other voluntary organisations.
It’s All About Planning
Making the most of National Volunteers Week, and any other event relies on effective planning. All organisations should have a marketing strategy. This will take into account upcoming events. It will incorporate ideas such as the above. Social media channels and press will be used to promote a strong message. In this way, the brand and voice of the organisation stay strong and consistent. This will ensure that marketing is effective and achieves what it sets out to do. This is not just true for national volunteer organisations but small, local ones too.
Concerned that your marketing strategy is not good enough? I am experienced in developing and building effective marketing strategies for non-profits. To find out how I could help you, please get in touch.