From 8–14 May 2017, thousands of events across the country will be held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer including breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas, and luncheons…
From 8–14 May 2017, thousands of events across the country will be held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer including breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas, and luncheons as well as open days, award ceremonies, picnics, forums and training sessions.
“Basketball in Victoria relies on the many volunteers contributing significant hours to assist participation in our sport.” General Manager, Basketball Victoria Country, David Huxtable said.
Whilst we await the release of volunteering data collected in the 2016 census, recent surveys tell us that 36.2 per cent of people aged 18 years and over in Australia participated in formal volunteering, that equates to 6.1 million people, with 38 per cent of adult women volunteering (3.24 million women) and 34 per cent of adult men (2.85 million men).
“In Victoria, the same surveys tell us that over 173 million hours of volunteer work is contributed each year to organisations.” Huxtable continued. “37 per cent of that is delivered in the Sport and Recreation sector.”
National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for organisations to recognise the contribution of volunteers.
Recognising volunteers doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money. There are many ways you can show them you appreciate them without having to spend a cent! Start by saying thank you on International Volunteer Day, and keep showing your gratitude all year round.
Some ideas include:
- Provide a warm welcome for each new volunteer
- Ask volunteers for their opinions when developing new policies and strategies
- Hold a special ‘thank-you’ social function, with the guests of honour, being the volunteers. A simple morning tea will ensure everyone gets on board to celebrate the roles of volunteers in your organisation.
- Write letters to the volunteer’s family, letting them know how much the person’s work has contributed, and thank the family for supporting the volunteer in their efforts.
- Give your volunteers a ‘pat on the back,’ differently. By tracing your hand on a plain piece of paper and writing ‘Here’s a pat on the back for_______ thank you for your hard work.’
- Purchase a jar, and have others write encouraging ‘post it notes’ about volunteers when they have a positive interaction with them. Urge everyone to participate and at a ‘thank you’ function held for volunteers you can read out all the lovely messages that were said about them.
- Use quotes from volunteers in leaflets and annual reports, small things like including their name on a program they have helped organise, does not cost the organisation while being priceless to the individual volunteer.
- Nominate your volunteers for community awards. Look on the Volunteering Victoria or Volunteer Australia websites for more details and a comprehensive list of awards a volunteer can be nominated for.
- Share the results of program evaluations with volunteers so they can see their impact on clients and programs.
- Provide letters of reference for your volunteers and let them know you are happy to do this.
- Recommend volunteers to prospective employers.
Go to www.volunteeringaustralia.org for further details on recognizing volunteers
Volunteering builds collective efficacy by bestowing a sense of altruism, developing skills and inspiring people to work together to solve problems and take action to improve the delivery of basketball across Country Victoria.
“Basketball Victoria Country recognises every volunteer and the important role that they undertake in their community and it is a key objective to grow and enhance volunteering across our organisation.” David concluded