The volunteering landscape is not barren - we have already a few well-established events, but also important dates, which are marked annually in the calendar of any organization which supports or does volunteering.
December 5 - International volunteer day
It is the most well-known day - a perfect opportunity to appreciate the volunteers, to thank them publicly, to organize various parties, ceremonies, and even galas for your volunteers - from an organization, from the city, or even from the whole county.
December 5 has been celebrated since 1985, when the United Nations decided that such an official day is a chance for volunteers, communities and organizations to promote their contributions to development, locally, nationally and internationally.
Because it manages to combine UN support with the mandate of grassroots organizations, International Volunteer Day is a unique opportunity for people and organizations involving volunteers to work with government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups, academia and the private sector.
The full name of the day is International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development and it is celebrated all over the world, every year.
Even in Romania, it started to be more and more known in the last 10 years - December 5, most of the time marking the Volunteer Gala, at local or county level. Since 2011, the National Volunteer Gala has also been organized.
The recognition of December 5 is also encouraged in relation to the local public authorities so that even the Volunteering Law explicitly provides in art. 7, para. (3) the fact that "Local government authorities promote and support the organization of events on the occasion of International Volunteer Day, on December 5 of each year."
More details, resources, and previous International Volunteer Day editions themes - here.
November 5 - International volunteer managers’ day
Even though it is not (yet) as well known as December 5, International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD) is just as important. Because any effective volunteer program, any functional volunteer team, has one (or more) volunteer coordinators behind them - those people who mobilize volunteer teams, organize their work, do all the bureaucracy needed for a volunteer program, encourage volunteers and stimulate their motivation, mediates between volunteers and employees of an organization or institution and are always ambassadors of volunteers, in front of management, but also of funders.
Because the occupation of Volunteer Manager is not widely recognized or understood, an International Day dedicated to them is a great opportunity to discuss the importance of this role, the techniques, tools and resources through which volunteer coordinators can become better at work. more and more adapted to the changing needs of the volunteers he coordinates, but also of the various volunteer programs. Volunteer managers are constantly learning, working hard, and working alongside their volunteers, so at least one day a year, it is necessary to have a cast, to be applauded and appreciated.
The celebration of this occupation began in 1999, at the initiative of a committee of Professionals in Volunteer Management, from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Until 2005, it was also celebrated on December 5. Since 2006, the International Group of IVMD Supporters has been established, which has decided to choose the date of November 5, 2008.
Every year, IVMD receives a specific theme, and organizations around the world, as well as volunteer groups, are encouraged to thank their managers and publicly appreciate everything they do. Details on how to mark this day, including communication resources and ideas, can be found here.
NVW - National volunteering week
Here is one of our events, which takes place in Romania, annually, for over 20 years!
Volunteer weeks and festivals take place in many parts of the world, from Canada to Australia, from New Zealand to Israel, but also in many European countries, such as Croatia, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Italy. EVC gathered some details about NVWs from around the world here.
In Romania, NVW - National Volunteering Week (SNV - Săptămâna Națională a Voluntariatului) is a traditional event, coordinated by Pro Vobis - National Volunteer Center (Centrul Național de Voluntariat), without interruption, since 2002.
Every spring, in the third week of May, we celebrate volunteers and volunteering! SNV is designed to mobilize as many organizations and volunteers as possible to celebrate volunteering together, to attract community support, and to publicly recognize volunteer work. NVW is:
- A synchronized mobilization of organizations that involve volunteers and thus become a common voice;
- An opportunity to try volunteering, for those who want to, but don't know how to get involved;
- A demonstration and a source of inspiration for our power, all of us, to work together for positive change in the community;
- An opportunity for organizations to implement ideas for change or to publicly celebrate their volunteer programs under the umbrella of a national event;
- A mirror of the diversity of people, organizations, causes and activities in the field of volunteering;
- A national public framework for the public recognition and appreciation of volunteers;
- A growing annual event that draws the attention of the community and the media to the good deeds around us.
Any organization, institution or initiative group which carries out volunteering activities or promotes volunteering can join NVW and become a Local NVW partner.
The program's website is waiting for you with details about previous editions, the benefits you will gain by getting involved in NVW, ways to sign up, inspirational articles and video materials from the 20 years anniversary edition and also a Bank of action ideas which you can implement during the NVW.
There are other interesting events during the year, in which you could find volunteering actions or programs which underline the importance of volunteering and thus emphasizes the importance of volunteering in many spheres of life. It is worth analyzing each one!
May 2 - National Youth Day
Non-formal learning day - usually organized by ANPCDEFP