Collective Wisdom


FREE tips and news directly to your in-box!

Sign up here for your choice of our monthly e-newsletters


Follow us: Facebook   LinkedIn

| Share |


International Volunteer Day Ideas

International Volunteer Day, December 5th, is celebrated in more than half the countries of the world.  For general information about it, see our events page.

Young Explorers' Institute in India
The Young Explorers' Institute for Social Service in Salt Lake, Kolkata, India has been jointly organizing International Volunteers' Day since 2002. The event is mainly discussion among the Civil Societies located in and around Kolkata. The All-India Radio in Kolkata broadcast a one-hour program, with audience participation, on December 5th, 2002.
Submitted on 6Apr06 by Major S. K. De, Young Explorers' Institute for Social Service, Kolkata, India

Artists in Our Midst
As the program chairman for the Gallery Service Volunteers at the Detroit Institute of Arts, I am charged with coordinating enrichments and events for a volunteer group of over 300. For our 2001 Annual Meeting, we chose to commemorate the the International Year of the Volunteer by centering our enrichment around our own volunteers. We organized an Art Show featuring the works of 15 "Artists in Our Midst," showcasing the works of our very own volunteers. The day was enjoyed by all attendees, and the artists were proud to share their talents with their colleagues.
Submitted on 4Apr03by Phil Rivera, Program Chairman-Gallery Service Committee, The Detroit Institute of Arts Volunteer Committee, Michigan, USA

Ideas from UN Volunteers
UN Volunteers ( suggests a number of ways organizations that host volunteers can leverage this day for their own benefit:

  • Contact organizations you networked with previously for the International Year of Volunteers (2001) and generate interest in coming together again in some way to celebrate or promote IVD.
  • Contact your local United Nations Association ( and collaborate together on ways to celebrate and promote IVD.
  • Launch a new page on your web site to coincide with IVD that notes specifically the IMPACT volunteers make at your organization and in your community. Talk about the results of their contributions and detail how these contributions make a real difference.
  • Contact your local newspaper about someone from your organization or from a volunteering network writing an editorial that will be published on December 5 and that will focus on the impact volunteers make specifically to your organization and to the immediate community, and/or to society as a whole.
  • Keep all media outlets abreast of your plans for IVD.
  • Choose your own theme for IVD. You can link IVD and the contributions of volunteers to critical issues facing your community, such as HIV/AIDS, children's education, adult literacy, environmental protection, and so forth. Remember that the more people and organizations that can relate to the topic, the better your chances of garnering interest.

You may download items for IVD-related promotional materials from the International Year of Volunteers web site ( Add logos to posters, flyers, web pages and so forth. More material for IVD will be posted on the IYV site in the coming weeks.

A REQUEST: Please compile photographs with complete captions, press clippings and short summary reports relating to volunteers and the impact they make in your community for possible inclusion on the evolving IYV web site. Details on how to submit this information will be published the first week of December on

Plans in Prishtina -Kosovo
We are planning to publise UN volunteers with an exhibition in Prishtina, interviewing some legal volunteers in Peje and involving volunteers in reconstructing roofs in Mitrovica.
Submitted on 9Sept02 by David Burfoot, Programme Officer , UN Volunteers, Prishtina, Kosovo

Event in the Park - Porto Alegre Brazil
We organized an event in a very large park in Porto Alegre, Brazil.   We carried out a similar celebration in a Park last year and received around 40,000 people.

December 5 - Several activities were developed by volunteers, under the supervision of a professional volunteer in order to make the park more beautiful. These activities include cleaning the park, planting flowers, painting the play ground and the park seats, cleaning the lake, etc. This way it will be shown that the volunteer action can make a difference in life and in the public places of Porto Alegre.

December 6 - We carried out a joint work with our 70 partners social organizations. It lasted from 9 am to 6 pm. Each organization will display its handcraft products or show the type of work they perform. There will be one booth for each organization. There will be a stage for shows which will be held all day long. There will be also a cultural space with the participation with known artists of several areas. There will be activities directed to children, such as clowns, shows, ginkanas, games, etc.

Submitted on 8Oct1999 by Maria Elena Johannpeter, ONG Parceiros Voluntrios, Largo Visconde do Cairu, 17 - 8 andar, 90030-110 Porto Alegre - RS/Brazil

Plans in Minnesota, U.S.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge will be celebrating on December 5 by honoring their volunteers. We will start the day off right by serving a volunteer brunch to honor volunteers and the families that support them. The entire afternoon will be filled with activities for both the public and volunteers' families to enjoy.  Speakers, movies, kids activities, interpretive programs, Frosty the Snowman, MN Wild Food tasting, and snowshoeing are just a few of the things that will be happening. The entire afternoon is free and open to the public.

Program in Berlin, Germany
The program for the upcoming International Volunteer Day
conference in Berlin, on December 4 and 5 ,1998 is at    The page is in German.

Let us know your plans!
Email us



Share Your Wisdom

| Share |
Sign up for the Volunteer Management Update e-newsletter for a free recognition tip each month (and much more!)

An international online journal to keep you current on trends, research, successes...
Learn more | Subscribe


Online training for individuals, organizations or corporations to work successfully with volunteers. Learn more