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Volunteer appreciation

Volunteer appreciation

About the campaign

Canadians have a rich history of volunteering and community involvement. Volunteers are on the front lines of all of our community services – community health care, heritage and arts, maintenance of green space, disaster relief, volunteer firefighting, minor sports – the list is endless. The work of the volunteer is essential work. National Volunteer Week (NVW) pays tribute to the millions of Canadian volunteers who donate their time and energy. NVW is the biggest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism this country has and Volunteer Canada is taking the lead on the celebrations again this year. The 2009 campaign was developed to help organizations and individuals from coast to coast to coast deliver their own NVW celebrations the week of April 19 to April 25. To help you say ‘thank you’ to volunteers, we have developed a wealth of resources and products. If it is posters, postcards, volunteer recognition materials or free downloads you are looking for, or if you simply need some tips in event planning or promoting NVW locally through media – we have it all here through this one-stop-shop website. We are also inviting Canadians – from individuals to organizations that work with volunteers – to submit their photos and videos that recognize volunteerism as being an essential part of who we are. Go to the home page to upload them online! Join us celebrating National Volunteer Week this year. Explore the website to find the products and resources you need to deliver your very own volunteer recognition celebration. Volunteer Canada wishes to thank Investors Group for their generous sponsorship of National Volunteer Week.


Event planning

Whether your organization has five volunteers or 5000, National Volunteer Week provides a great occasion to stand up and say thanks! Not sure what to do? Concerned about budgets? Volunteer Canada can help.

The thought that counts

Put on your thinking caps to come up with ways to help your event focus on the contribution of each volunteer. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • hold an awards presentation.
  • invite a speaker to talk about how they have been touched by your volunteers.
  • announce important milestones-how many volunteer hours were logged, how many lives were touched, how many goals were met, etc.
  • treat your volunteers to a performance by a stand-up comic, musician or an improvisational theatre group.
  • create a “thank-you” slide show featuring photos from the past year of your volunteers in action.


People always like to take something home – and volunteers are no exception. Tokens of appreciation don’t have to be expensive. Here are a few suggestions.
  • a framed group photo of all current volunteers
  • a thank-you card signed by the head of the organization or by the entire staff
  • a personalized certificate of appreciation
  • a framed photo of staff members holding a sign that says “thank you!”
  • gift certificates
  • a booklet of thank-you letters from the people your organization supports
  • personalized notes highlighting each volunteer’s particular contribution or a moment when they really shone – a personal touch can go a long way. Be sure to visit Volunteer Canada’s Marketplace for a good look at the many products offered for volunteer appreciation. There is a wide range of items available to suit budgets of all sizes.

Community sponsorship

Involve community merchants in your national volunteer week event! Many local businesses will be happy to donate prizes, food or even a venue - especially if you offer them some promotion at your event. You can provide some visibility by offering:
  • to put their name or logo in any program you may be Printing;
  • to place a message of thanks in your next newsletter;
  • to post their company logo or word mark on your website for a period of time;
  • to hang a sign or banner at your event.

Promotion and media

Going public

Publicity and promotion are important. To help ensure that volunteerism continues to thrive, it needs to be kept “top-of-mind” through increased recognition and public awareness. Whenever possible, try and involve the media in your national volunteer week plans. Whether it’s pitching a story about one of your outstanding volunteers or soliciting media coverage for an event that you’re holding, getting NVW in the news locally advances the cause of volunteerism in your region and across Canada!  

The commonplace is not news!  Remember that coming up with a new or unusual story angle increases the chances for media interest.  The same goes for event coverage.  While a traditional pancake breakfast may not be of much interest to journalists, a pancake breakfast served by the mayor or local celebrities to community volunteers might be and the accompanying photo opportunities are an added draw.

Not all promotion is about pitching

You can also gain recognition and support for NVW in other ways that are just as valid and sometimes more appropriate than soliciting media attention. Promotion can involve hanging a poster, hosting an event, handing out flyers, setting up a mall exhibit or giving a speech. Do whatever you can—it’s for a great cause!

Mayoral proclamation

Ask your local Mayor’s office to have the Mayor publicly proclaim April 19 to 25 National Volunteer Week. Not only could this grab the attention of some local media, it also reminds city hall of the important week-long celebrations. Be sure to send in your   request at least six weeks ahead of time to allow the Mayor’s office to process the proclamation. By forwarding your own proclamation language, the Mayor’s office will thank you and could significantly speed up the process. Use our Mayor proclamation template as a guide.


Budget allowing, we provide some print advertisement blocks that can be submitted to your local community or daily newspaper. By purchasing advertising, you are guaranteeing placement of your message at a set date. Be sure to investigate submission deadlines with your local newspapers.

Media advisory

Pitch your local radio station, television studio or newspaper to cover your event. To grab their attention, send a media advisory that explains the event and advises on possible interview opportunities. Not sure how to write a media advisory? Check out our template.


Public service announcements are messages that promote programs, activities and services of groups that serve the community. They are broadcast at no charge. Radio stations are inundated every day with PSAs and select those to be aired by how well they match the station’s criteria. Your PSA is more likely to be aired if it appeals to the station’s audience, revolves around an important issue, has little or no controversy and is creative. PSAs should be sent to the PSA director two to three weeks before you want it to be aired. Make sure you’ve done your homework to find out the preferred method of submission for the station you’re targeting—some stations prefer email, others have a PSA hotline. Not sure how to write a PSA? Check out our template.

Chatter sheets

Chatter sheets are simple sheets of paper containing easy, interesting bites of information on your event and your organization. Radio DJs can make use of these as they keep up the lively “chatter” on their shows. Supply 10 or 15 seconds worth of information on your event, facts and figures, historic milestones or tie-ins with local or national observances.

Letter to the editor

A letter to the editor of your local newspaper can garner great exposure for your organization and for National Volunteer Week.

Community calendar announcements

Most radio stations and local television studios can provide Specific mention of events that are open to the public. Keep your announcement brief—only 8 to 12 seconds in length—and be sure to provide the name, date, time, location and cost of your event.




Mayoral Proclamation (PDF)
Media Advisory (PDF)
Public Service Announcements (PDF)
Campaign Kit (PDF)


Click here to download a PDF of our 2009 line-up of marketplace items in celebration of National Volunteer Week!

Click here to access Volunteer Canada’s NVW Marketplace.

Web Graphics

Click on the links below to download all the JPG files from the campaign.

Mayoral Proclamation.pdf186.35 KB
Media Advisory.pdf202.05 KB
Public Service Announcements.pdf202 KB
Marketplace.pdf1.64 MB
NVW Campaign Kit.pdf1.5 MB
NVW_dbanner_120x90-s.jpg34.02 KB
NVW_dbanner_120x240-s.jpg48.19 KB
NVW_dbanner_120x600-s.jpg74.9 KB
NVW_dbanner_125x125-s.jpg32.69 KB
NVW_dbanner_160x600-s.jpg90.84 KB
NVW_dbanner_468x60-s.jpg38.14 KB
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