Celebrating Volunteering in April
Posted Thursday, April 9th, 2015 by Verified Volunteers Staff
The month April plays host to two very newsworthy events in the Nonprofit Sector: National Volunteer Week (April 12th – 18th) and Global Youth Service Day (April 17th – 19th). The goal of each event? To educate people about the need in the communities around them, and motivate them to take action and be the change they want to see. With the volunteer rate in America at its lowest in more than a decade, these events can be an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about your nonprofit, and attract volunteers to support your goals.
About National Volunteer Week
In the US, National Volunteer Week is a program coordinated by our partner, Points of Light. Dating back to 1974, the week has seen tremendous and exponential growth, with thousands of volunteers participating each year in community projects across the country.
The week is both a celebration of volunteerism, and a further call to action for communities and individuals to engage in social change. Points of Light notes that National Volunteer week is about discovering and demonstrating that there is power in numbers – great changes can take place when there is a common goal.
In 2014, President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation noting: “I call upon all Americans to observe this week by volunteering in service projects across our country and pledging to make service a part of their daily lives.” In 2015, these words still ring true.
Whether you’re an individual or an organization, you can get involved in National Volunteer Week in so many ways. If you are an individual, make sure to share your experience through social media – or better yet, bring a friend with you so you can get more people involved. If you are an organization, ensure you share information about your projects (current and upcoming!) via local media. Points of Light has even compiled a package of templates to help organizations spread the word and project a unified and collective effort.
About Global Youth Service Day
From April 17th – 19th, youth from more than 100 countries across 6 continents will take part in and plan their own community projects for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). The project is coordinated by Youth Service America, but involves partner organizations all over the world. The goal is simple: make an impact. Wherever they are, whomever they are, youth are encouraged to follow three simple steps:
- Raise Your Voice – Tell the world who you are and what you’re going to do
- Map it Out – Claim your place on the GYSD map and map out a plan
- Tell Your Story – Serve and celebrate on GYSD & tell the world your story
Getting involved is simple. Individuals simply create their online profile and then search for community projects they can join or create their own projects. Organizations can connect with youth regarding existing projects, or help create new projects. Youth Service America has even provided some key ways to get involved in different causes.
Seizing the Moment
With such excellent opportunities to get involved coming up, it can be difficult to fight the urge of diving head first into recruiting mode. It’s times like these that you need to review your onboarding and recruiting strategies, and follow your volunteer screening policy effectively!
Talk to your existing volunteers – what types of projects are they interested in? What ideas do they have to help get involved in these great events?