For many of our LemonTree members, volunteers play a massive role in their fundraising efforts; including The Salvation Army, Vinnies, Surf Life Saving Foundation, Food Bank, Cancer Council, Guide Dogs and many more.
Saying “Thank You” is often cited as the most powerful communication you can deliver to your donor and we truly believe this logic also applies to your volunteers – after all they’re your walking – talking – breathing mascot! Your volunteers give their time freely for a number of reasons; for some its an opportunity to give something back to the community, for others there is an emotional connection to your cause or their just so incredibly passionate about the impact your cause has on the world and for many its just because volunteering makes them happy.
I recently read an interesting article title ‘The Power of Thank You – Gratitude can change the world for the better’, by MJ Blehart, a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. According to MJ ‘hearing “thank you” conveys a sense of accomplishment, positive reinforcement, of appreciation. Saying it expresses your gratitude for people and things… Don’t you love how it feels when you are thanked for a gift, for a compliment, for a job well done, for helping, and/or for thinking of someone? I have not met anyone who did not receive sincere thanks and NOT felt better and more positive because of it.’
Here is what Volunteering Australia has to say about National Volunteer Week…
National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, NVW will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers. Each year these volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.
The theme for NVW 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. which acknowledges that it is time to:
- RECOGNISE, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
Never has this been more evident than after a year where Australia has dealt with drought, devastating bushfires, floods and then a global pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, while many of us stayed home, volunteers continued to deliver essential services, organise food packages and offer care, comfort and more to support the well-being of Australians. Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.
- RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
In a year when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being or to potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves. Explore volunteer opportunities by visiting www.GoVolunteer.com.au.
- REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give. During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and a recent study highlights that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress, we need to reimagine how we do things. We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary work that they do.
Volunteering Australia has created a wonderful resources page to help you show your appreciation for your volunteers using certificates, posters, social media tiles, and more. We encourage you to nurture these special charity-volunteer relationships, just as you nurture your donor relationships. Why not take the time to show gratitude by saying “thank you” to the people who freely give their time and energy to support your cause?