Spark Solutions - #NVW2022 Let's All Celebrate Canada's Volunteers with the Volunteer Canada logo underneath, and a blue banner with National Volunteer Week, April 24-30, 2022 in white writing over top. To the right, there are two women in masks, who appear to be smiling and touching elbows. In a second photo, someone with shoulder length hair, sitting in a wheelchair with their back to the camera is taking a photo of someone sitting on a couch, out of focus.

#VolunteersBringHeart to Sport

This week is National Volunteer Week 2022. #VolunteersBringHeart to sport. Canada’s most recent statistics, from the 2018 General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering, and Participating, show that 12.7 million people volunteered on behalf of a group by contributing time to organizations, including charities and non-profit organizations, such as schools, religious organizations, sports or community associations. Those who volunteer for sport contribute, on average, 105 hours of their time each year. That’s a lot of people volunteering a lot of time for sport! This month, we’re highlighting 3 tips that you can use to appreciate your wonderful volunteers during this week.

1. Prioritize Appreciation

We have many competing priorities and timelines, but we need to prioritize volunteer appreciation. Do this by taking time to develop a formal strategy to execute. This doesn’t need to be grand but being thoughtful will help you keep the volunteers you currently have as well as build a reputation that you treat your volunteers well. Designating management responsibility to one person will greatly increase the chances of appreciating volunteers well. By assigning someone to this job, you will be able to build relationships with your volunteers, learn and understand their needs and interests, and engage in the process of appreciation on an ongoing basis.

2. Share Volunteers' Impact

Volunteers want to feel and see that they’re making a difference. One way to do this is to create and share impact reports with your volunteers. Impact reports are summaries of what has gone on and what’s occurred as a result, similar to grant follow-up reports. It includes metrics like registration or attendance numbers, the number of people helped, the amount of funds raised, or what’s now possible as a result of efforts. Include how volunteers’ help ensured the success of the initiative and paint a bigger picture of how the event or organization contributes to the betterment of the community. Add some pictures – bonus points if they’re in them! Impact reports can be a great way to show you appreciate your volunteers.

3. Incentive Participation

Incentives work as a great method of appreciation. There’s no two ways about it – people love free stuff. But there are a lot more options than just free swag. Honorariums, gift cards, appreciation events, thank you barbeques, event tickets, training opportunities. There are a variety of options, both big and small, to show volunteers that you appreciate their efforts. However, select your incentives appropriately. Consider your budget and your values. For example, if environmental sustainability is a core value of your organization, don’t select incentives that come wrapped in a bunch of plastic. Instead, consider making a donation, on behalf of volunteers, to a charity that actively supports environmental sustainability. As well, consider the quality of the items you’re selecting. Volunteers notice when they are receiving a thank you gift that’s low quality. That’s not to say that it should be expensive, but I’d rather you save your money than pick out a Dollarama trinket that will easily break.

Approach with Sincerity & Empathy

The appreciation of volunteers should begin and end with empathy and sincerity. #EmpathyInAction is this year’s National Volunteer Week theme, and is a perfect theme for how we should treat volunteers. As #VolunteersBringHeart, we should brings ours and be sincere and thank them for their time and contributions. Be empathetic and accommodating to those who are doing their best to make an impact in your organization and community. Let’s celebrate Canada’s millions of volunteers whose empathy, compassion and generosity connect people to their communities, contributing to a more vibrant and inclusive Canada.

Looking for other ideas on how to manage volunteers well? Connect with me, I’d love to help.

#VolunteersBringHeart #NVW2022

Scroll to Top