4imprint, LLC

In one of the most famous speeches of his career, John F. Kennedy called upon a nation to “ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” Fast forward five decades later and hop north of the border, and the recruitment and retention of quality volunteers is more important than ever to government agencies burdened with shrinking budgets and growing public expectations. Fear not-creating a call to volunteerism isn’t as difficult as you may think. Start with two simple words: thank you.In a report compiled south of the border by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 42 percent of volunteers became involved after being asked to participate, typically by someone within the organization. This statistic is likely similar here in Canada, and highlights the importance of a positive experience for your current workforce. To create a perception of value for your volunteers, first consider their motivation for giving their time. Helping others is the primary focus, but volunteers typically have a secondary motivation, like anchoring themselves within an altruistic community.

The “A-VICTORY” model was created by Dianne Clarke-Kudless and Andrew McCabe to assist local governments implement volunteer recruitment and retention strategies. The acronym A-VICTORY is a series of volunteer-centric questions designed to assess the following areas: ability, value, idea, circumstances, time, obligation, resistance and yield. Combining these elements of servitude with small tokens of appreciation will undoubtedly create a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Here are a few tips for acknowledging your participants throughout the service process:

Many volunteers are often anxious and unsure of their ability to contribute. Here are a few ways to convey gratitude for their presence and put their minds at ease:

  • Show appreciation for their donated time by communicating expectations. This ensures a likely fit for your organization and shows respect for your volunteers’ time.
  • Give each volunteer a welcome kit that defines the mission of your organization. Include a branded T-shirt for them to wear while volunteering (or any time) and encourage your volunteers to tell others about their experiences.
  • Engage your volunteers by establishing realistic and achievable goals for their service.
  • Open lines of communication to empower each individual and establish a sense of community, which are common motivators for volunteerism.

According to a study conducted by the Volunteer Centre | Ottawa-Carleton, participants didn’t return to an organization for several reasons, including disorganized management, staff indifference, lack of support or having the wrong assignment. Here are a few ways to be attentive to their needs:

  • Monitor the little things, like ensuring basic needs are met on your watch and fostering a caring atmosphere. Provide water and periodically provide meals or energizing snacks like goldfish crackers or comfort grip sport bottles to keep them hydrated.
  • Provide personal items depending on the service project location. For example, volunteers at city-led Canada Day festivities across the country will be outdoors and exposed to the elements all day, so provide sunglasses, bandanas or umbrellas to volunteers to help stave off the elements.
  • Show interest in personal progress by providing volunteers with both verbal and written feedback on their initial goals. Assessing their progress on a schedule, based on the duration of the project, allows them either positive reinforcement or recognition that they are not on the appropriate assignment.

When a volunteer has completed their project, you should remain connected with them. Maintain a dialogue to retain their affiliation and recruit other volunteers through the power of their experience. Create a community of volunteers by using this post-service period as a recruitment opportunity. Help them continue with your organization and the community of volunteers they met.

  • To convey a genuine appreciation, avoid informal e-mails and opt instead for a personalized, handwritten thank-you note. If applicable, include photos illustrating their participation.
  • Explain how their specified task helped the cause. This reminder of their contribution will entice them to volunteer again.
  • Create an online community allowing volunteers to virtually reconnect and share their experiences and advice.

Incorporating these gestures of appreciation into your organization will give volunteers the rewarding experience they are looking for. As Winston Churchill once stated, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Kennedy, John F. Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States.Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1989; Bartleby.com, 2001. 13 April 2012.

Volunteering in the United States, 2011.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2 Feb. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.

Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating.” Statistics Canada. 21 Mar. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.

Clarke-Kudless, Dianne, and Andrew McCabe. “NJLM – Skills Update – A Challenge for Towns Large and Small.” New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.

Ancans, Indra S. “Why People Volunteer.” Volunteer Centre Ottawa-Carleton. 1992. 30 Apr. 2012.

Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS) Awareness MonthAudiobook MonthCaribbean American Heritage MonthGay Pride Month
ID-A International Day of Advertising
Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender MonthTurkey Lover’s Month


Canadian Environment Week:1st WeekNational Sun Awareness Week: 2nd WeekNational Water Safety Week: 2nd Week
1: International Children’s Day
4: International Day
of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
5: Canadian Forces Day
5: World Environment Day
6: Hunger Day8: World Brain Tumour Day8: World Ocean Day
8: Clean Air Day
10: Ballpoint Pen Day
12: World Day Against Child Labour 14: World Blood Donor Day
17: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
17: Badger Day
17: Panic Day
17: International Fathers’ Day
19: World Sickle Cell Day
20: World Refugee Day
21: World Music Day
23: United Nations Public Service Day
26: International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
28: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
International Group B Strep Awareness Month
Bereaved Parents Awareness Month
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education and Awareness Month
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Family Reunion Month
Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month
Sandwich Generation Month
Smart Irrigation Month
Social Wellness Month
Women with Alopecia Month
Women’s Motorcycle Month
Zine Month
International Chicken Wing Week: 6-8
Rabbit Week: 15-21
Captive Nations Week: 15-21
World Lumberjack Championships: 27-29
Single Working Women’s Week: 29-8/4
1: Canada Day
6: International Kissing Day
7: International Cooperative Day
11: World Population Day
16: World Fun Day
19: Canada’s Parks Day
Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *