For countless Canada’s charitable, not-for-profit, and government services associated with volunteering, April 15 to 21, 2018, will be a week for celebration of our nation’s annual National Volunteer Week, ‘From Sea to Sea’.
Volunteer MBC wholly supports the 2018 theme for National Volunteer Week: Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections and community. Wonderful goals, to be sure, but in terms of what the volunteering sector does, especially in Peel region, is that all there is?
Volunteer MBC doesn’t think so, and we’re confident that our ‘member’ organizations, funders, and other stakeholders don’t think so, either.
So, what needs to be added? Can you guess?
Recognition! Modest as Canadians tend to be about themselves, let’s admit to ourselves that being ‘singled out’ for doing good deeds is a very positive, pleasing gesture. When this happens, your volunteers feel happy, occasionally surprised, and within our organizations volunteers feel validated in terms of their roles, contributions, and personal accomplishments. And there’s such an expression of mutual good will, when organizations engage in acts of recognition, that almost inevitably volunteers and their leaders are brought closer. We truly strengthen our bonds with our volunteers within the organization and the mission that initially brought us together.
A 2013 survey in Canada found that 80% of our then 10 million plus volunteers wanted to be ‘thanked’ for their contributions (as well as shown evidence of the impact in the community that their volunteering has made). It also is an accepted fact that volunteer recognition tends to result in volunteer retention.
As far back as 2010, Volunteer MBC recognized that volunteers and leadership need to be recognized in a special, formal fashion, and so the V-Oscars were established. These awards remain the largest celebration of volunteering in Peel region to this day. It is certainly no coincidence that our local volunteers annually are honoured during Canada’s National Volunteer Week.
Recognition is a key builder, building and affirming ‘connections’, relationships, retention, and loyalty. Furthermore, ‘confidence’, ‘competence’, and notably ‘community’ are very much allied to recognition.
Volunteer MBC’s ‘V-Oscars’ on April 19th will be a Gala that is a grand, unique opportunity for our ‘member’ organizations to recognize volunteers, and themselves, with the wonderful added feature of bringing us together to celebrate what volunteers love to do, and indeed how well they do it. Furthermore, the ‘V-Oscars’ represents an inexpensive way by which a not-for-profit can celebrate its volunteers (with Volunteer MBC as the planner, convener, and manager of this sophisticated ‘recognition’ event).
(Tickets are still available here: Please note – the 2017 Gala SOLD OUT!)