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Focus on Fundraising:
National Volunteer Week 2001

by Deane Brengle

National Volunteer Week began in 1974, when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the Week as an annual celebration of volunteerism. Every President since has signed a Proclamation promoting the Week. Additionally, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of National Volunteer Week. Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and the national network of Volunteer Centers, National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the local, state and national levels.

"Change the World - VOLUNTEER!" is the theme for the 28th annual National Volunteer Week, April 22-28, 2001. The purpose of this week is to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the local, state and national levels.

Types of events suitable for National Volunteer Week 2000

  • Finding Volunteers

    Use this national event to motivate your nonprofit to enlist the help of an army of local volunteers to participate in a project for your nonprofit.

    Your nonprofit can also use the prestige of this national event to motivate local corporations, labor unions, schools, churches and fraternal organizations to participate in volunteering with your nonprofit.

    National Volunteer Week is covered by the media every year. Nonprofits, volunteers and their organizations will all benefit from the publicity. It will be a motivating factor in getting organizations and volunteers to participate.

    This is how you get your foot in the door at local corporations, labor unions, schools, churches and fraternal organizations. If you play your cards right, you can leverage these contacts into long term opportunities for your nonprofit. Donations of cash, labor, volunteers, materials, and supplies are yours for the asking if you can develop the relationship.

  • Recognizing Volunteers

    Use this week to have an event or special function to recognize your volunteers or special volunteers within your nonprofit. Nothing will renew the vigor of your volunteers more than a pat on the back and a sincere thank you from your leadership, and community leaders if possible, and the recognition it brings from their peers and community.

National Volunteer Week 2001 Resources

The web site,, has materials and information to help celebrate National Volunteer Week -- whether it is a special event to recognize current volunteers or special service projects to encourage new volunteers to join your efforts and make a difference in your community.

You can download the online media and promotional kit. It includes the following materials:

Publicity tips
Key messages
Sample press release
Sample media advisory
Sample op ed
Sample letter to the editor
Logo slicks (color and black and white)
Ad slicks for print Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Scripts for radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Sample speech
Volunteer statistics and trends
Quotes relevant to volunteering
How to get your government involved (with sample letter and proclamation)
Recognition certificate
Feedback form

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About the Author:

Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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