National Volunteer Week: April 21-27, 2013

National Volunteer Week 2013 takes place April 21-27.

You’ve got seven weeks to plan meaningful and energizing recognition of the folks who bring life to your work. This post is the first in a series over these seven weeks to inspire your appreciation of the volunteers in service to your mission.

How will you celebrate and thank your volunteers?

Below we’ve pulled together and expanded upon some of the ideas from the Point of Light Institute’s guide to National Volunteer Week from 2012.

Before mulling over your 2013 recognition and appreciation plan, check out this inspiring video of thousands of volunteers lining up in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 19th’s National Day of Service in Dr. King’s honor.

“‘Everyone has the power for greatness — not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You wanna change your own life?   Volunteer.” – Soledad O’Brien at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service event at the D.C. Armory, January 19, 2013

From Points of Light Institute and Hands on Network –


Millions of people give their time, talent and energy to help strengthen communities around the world. Our volunteers range from children to older adults, to businesses and community organizations, and all share in common the act of choosing to make a difference. It is through their stories that people are inspired to serve and begin to recognize their personal power to transform themselves and the world around them.
Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate and recognize the efforts of your volunteers:

  • For a group or individual that has done an exceptional service effort you can submit a nomination on their behalf for a Daily Point of Light Award. This award honors individuals and groups that create meaningful change in communities across America. Each weekday, one volunteer or volunteer effort is selected to receive The Daily Point of Light Award. Only 260 awards are issued each year. Learn more at http://www.PointsOfLight.Org/Recognition/dpol
  • Honor your volunteers with a custom certificate, letter and pin from the President of the United States. The Presidents Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups that have achieved a certain standard of service – measured by the number of hours of service completed over a 12 month period. Sign up now to become a participating organization so you can honor your volunteers with a very special gift. Learn more at
  • Send thank you letters to donors, sponsors, volunteers, speakers, and others who have contributed to your project. Include a picture of the project at work or information about how their work impacts lives and your community. Can the people you serve thank them directly? Consider cards signed by the people who are most impacted by the work. The closer you keep them to the heart of your work, the more they will feel the gift of their service.
  • Share volunteer stories. Call together a group of individuals and ask them to share what service means to them and how their lives are growing by it. Consider producing a simple YouTube and share it with your followers to keep the heart of your mission alive.

Share below: How are you recognizing volunteers? What do your volunteers mean to your organization and the work you do?

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