Celebrate the Fun Side of Volunteering with #FestiVOL15

#FestiVOL15: Celebrate National Volunteer Week with VolunteerMatchPeople volunteer for all kinds of reasons. One of the top reasons? It’s fun.

This National Volunteer Week (April 12-18, 2015), VolunteerMatch is celebrating the fun side of volunteering with our second annual FestiVOL. Time to put on those party hats, dig out those noisemakers, and shout with us, “Volunteering is AWESOME!”

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. One of our #FestiVOL15 goals is to help your organization attract and engage volunteers. We want you to get the most out of National Volunteer Week.

To help reach this goal, each day of the week we’ll post three nuggets of information: One piece of inspiration, one piece of knowledge, and one action. Check out our #FestiVOL15 webpage to follow along as they’re posted. You can also follow the hashtag #FestiVOL15 on Twitter to see everything as it’s released, and to join in the fun yourself!

Whether you work with volunteers, give back in your free time, or are still looking for that perfect opportunity, here’s to you!


Use This Awesome Free Graphic to Say “Thanks!” to Your Volunteers

Happy FestiVOL! As part of this week’s celebration of everything that’s fun about volunteering, here’s a super cool graphic that you can customize to show your volunteers how much you appreciate them.

Customize this cool graphic to show your volunteers how much you appreciate them for National Volunteer Week and FestiVOL!

Click here to easily customize and download the graphic, and then share it on your blog, on social media and over email, and be sure to use the hashtag #VolunteerHeroes to share inspiring stories.

Great job Nonprofit Toolkit for coming up with this graphic – we can always use more super heroes in this world! Make sure you thank the ones who are already helping your organization.

How are you celebrating National Volunteer Week? Let us know using hashtag #FestiVOL!

It’s FestiVOL Season

Volunteering is the best, right? So this year, in honor of National Volunteer Week, we’ve decided to celebrate volunteers and the difference they make by launching a spectacular week-long FestiVOL – and we want YOU to join us!

Why FestiVOL?

Join VolunteerMatch for FestiVOL, a week-long celebration of volunteering in honor of National Volunteer Week.At VolunteerMatch, we hope FestiVOL will help your organization make the most of National Volunteer Week. Whether it‘s appreciating your volunteers, strengthening existing relationships, or building new ones, VolunteerMatch will be providing tips on how you can increase engagement.

Part of our goal for FestiVOL is to help more nonprofit organizations – like yours – find the right volunteers. So each day we will release three “nuggets” just for you: One piece of inspiration, one piece of knowledge, and one action. We hope you’ll share these with your volunteers and community members, learn from them, and encourage everyone to get more involved.

What about ways that you can make an impact volunteering? FestiVOL will also provide resources to encourage your own participation in the community. Often times, simply sharing what causes you are passionate about can inspire others to make a difference, as well.

Join FestiVOL!

FestiVOL will run from April 6-12. You can see all the nuggets as we release them on the FestiVOL landing page.

You and your nonprofit can join FestiVOL by following on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #FestiVOL. We hope FestiVOL gives you the energy, passion and ideas to make our communities stronger and our world happier all year long!

How will YOU celebrate volunteering during FestiVOL?

Gorgeous FestiVOL graphic designed by Katy Roby.

Webinar Recap: A New Appreciation for Data with the Corporation for National and Community Service

Our latest Nonprofit Insights webinar was an intense one! Dr. Christopher Spera and Anthony Nerino of The Corporation for National and Community Service joined our president Greg Baldwin for a fascinating discussion on new statistics about volunteering in America. We dived deep into data from the Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2012 (VCLA 2012) study to explore who is volunteering in America and what that means for volunteer engagement.

This was a chance to see, in numbers, how Americans are volunteering, where they are and who is most involved. We learned some fascinating statistics, and our audience had the opportunity to ask some very applicable questions and discuss how to apply this new info to their own volunteer engagement strategies.

Looking at the Numbers

Parents: Data Infographic

The Corporation for National and Community Service makes volunteering statistics engaging and relevant for organizations. (infographic provided by VCLA 2012 website)

The VCLA 2012 study presented some fascinating numbers relating to different demographics, regions and service categories in America:

  • According to the research, 35 to 44 year-olds volunteer the most.
  • Older people tend to volunteer more with religious organizations than any others.
  • College graduates and employed individuals volunteer more than unemployed people
  • Young people volunteer mostly in youth and educational organizations.

While we often think of numbers as boring and not very personal, Dr. Spera and Mr. Nerino taught us just how important looking at the statistics can be. Because we usually think about how we can engage volunteers, it was helpful to look at the numbers for more directed insights. Greg Baldwin did a great job as mediator, asking questions about the VCLA 2012 facts and engaging the two Corporation speakers on how such data could be relevant to organizations.

Applying Stats to Volunteer Engagement: What Do They Mean for Your Organization?

  • Did you know that one of the most active volunteering demographics is parents with younger children? Mothers especially have the highest rates of volunteer engagement, and this group tends to focus on education and religious opportunities. Perhaps you could consider offering child care at your next charity or school volunteer day.
  • Another interesting fact is that rural residents volunteer the most, with suburban residents a close second. Why do you think that people living in cities volunteer the least? One hypothesis is that urban residents have to worry more about transportation to and from volunteer opportunities. Perhaps providing a shuttle service to volunteering events or bus vouchers could entice more people to volunteer.

Ideas like these kept coming up as our presenters reviewed the VCLA 2012 data. Our audience was also curious to know the “why” behind some of these fascinating numbers and seemed to take away some applicable theories of their own. All of us found a new appreciation for numbers after this webinar, as well as a better understanding of what they mean for volunteer engagement.

Want to learn more about the Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2012 study and the Corporation for National and Community Service? Visit the VCLA 2012 website, watch our webinar on Youtube, or view and download the webinar slides from Slideshare.

Don’t miss our next Nonprofit Insights Webinar, How to Solve Global Problems with Local Engagement, coming up May 29th. We will be speaking with Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) about how local organizations can fight global issues like hunger with volunteer engagement. Register today!

Stephanie Rosenburg is a Communications & Social Media Intern at VolunteerMatch. You can reach her at srosenburg@volunteermatch.org and follow her at @smrosenburg.

The Ultimate How-To: Tips for National Volunteer Week

An ultimate round-up of how-to posts and tips on volunteer engagement for National Volunteer Week.

Not those kinds of tips, silly.

National Volunteer Week isn’t just about recognizing the contribution of your amazing volunteers. It’s not just about building and strengthening relationships with volunteers, either. National Volunteer Week is also a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about how to do these things!

Everyone loves a good “how-to” post, and below we’ve gathered some of the most popular posts from Engaging Volunteers about volunteer engagement and recognition in the past year – all of them chock-full of juicy tips. Enjoy!

There’s a special place in our hearts, and in this post, for the Nonprofit Tip of the Month series:

Join the fun! What volunteer engagement tips would you like us to share with the VolunteerMatch network in honor of National Volunteer Week?

(Photo from Horia Varlan on Flickr.)