Julianne Alberty's blog

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Fun and Easy Tips to Recognize Your Volunteers

Volunteers are often humble and don't want or need any praise, but managers like to do things to recognize the hard work and commitment their volunteers make to the organization. Volunteers are essential to nonprofit organizations and often play key roles in programs and initiatives. Managers want to make them feel appreciated for the work they do and recognition equals retention, so it's a win, win for all. Do you work with volunteers that you would like to recognize?

Check out our list of fun, easy and inexpensive ways to honor the individuals that give their time and energy to your cause. For more information about volunteering in your community, visit our site today. You can sign up to receive custom emails, subscribe to our newsletter and "like" us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

Feed Them
We know that food can spark positive attitudes and it promotes social activity. Bring some snacks and encourage volunteers to take a quick break and get to know each other.

Coupons
Contact local eateries about donating a BOGO free coupon specifically for your volunteers. Put the coupons in a thank you card and wow your volunteers with unexpected mail.

Send a Birthday Wish
If you happen to keep your volunteers’ birthdays on record, make use of the milestone to show your appreciation. Surprise and delight volunteers with a birthday card, or give them a shout out on social media.

Tips for Volunteering in the Winter Weather

After this cold, snowy, and rainy weekend it seemed appropriate to start the week with some tips for volunteering in the winter. Snowstorms may not necessarily impact your volunteer plans but it’s always good to be safe, prepared and creative. Check out our tips below to consider for winter volunteering and don't forget to visit us at VolunteerSquare.com to sign up for our free custom e-alerts so we can keep you up-to-date on the latest volunteer needs here in Connecticut. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too!

Check in advance! Be crystal clear on your agency’s weather policy from the word go. Check the weather forecast and call your supervisor, check for news updates, or check your E-mail and social media alerts announcing delays, closures or other changes of plans.

If you’re very concerned about the weather and the agency stays open, stay home. While we love volunteer commitment as much as our agencies do, you should never put yourself at risk when roads are getting slippery. This especially applies if you have a lengthy drive to your agency. Volunteer coordinators will understand the treacherous conditions faced by drivers and will be happy to reschedule your hours for another time, assuming they haven’t done so already.

Volunteering in the New Year

Happy New Year! As we enter 2019, I'm sure you've thought about your New Year's resolutions. While some of the most popular resolutions are to be more healthy and go to the gym, another very popular resolution is to volunteer and get involved in your community.  At Volunteer Square, we encourage everyone to give back to their communities, but we also know that resolutions have the habit of being placed on hold, neglected, or abandoned altogether as the year moves along. We want to help you keep your volunteer momentum going all year so we put together a list of tips. Feel free to use some or all of them and share them with your family and friends as you plan your 2019 volunteering.

Stay up-to-date on volunteer opportunities here in Connecticut by signing up for our custom e-alerts and you can catch us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram too!

Tips for Volunteering All Year

1. Be Specific

Saying you want to volunteer is a very broad term. Doing what? What type of agency do you want to work with? What types of problems are you interested in solving? Just knowing what you really want to do as a volunteer will make a big difference in your commitment to your goals.

2. Create sub-goals

So your goal is to volunteer and you’ve established a specific direction. Then what? Continue creating a path for yourself on your road to New Year's volunteering in 2019. Maybe you want to volunteer in order to meet one new person every day. Maybe your goals could be work-related, such as writing one new press release every day that you volunteer. Be creative!

3. Be Realistic

Homemade Holiday Cards

There is something special about a homemade holiday card.  When you open the envelope, you can immediately feel the love and care that was involved in making it. Volunteer Square was excited to help coordinate a holiday card making project for the employees of the Gault Family Companies.

In early fall, I met with Megan Donaher Ventrella, Human Resources Coordinator and Meredith Donaher, Director of Marketing at Gault. They wanted to start an employee volunteer program and offer a variety of potential projects for people to get involved with. At our initial planning meeting, we discussed a kicking off of the program at their annual staff meeting in March of 2019. 4 volunteer events would be presented for employees to participate in during the course of the year. We also decided to take advantage of the holiday season and look for a fun volunteer project that employees could do in the office. We wanted something that would be fun and creative and encourage people to take a short break from their day to participate in.

6th Annual Teen Essay Contest Winners

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

The 6th Annual Volunteer Square Teen Essay Contest, in partnership with Hearst Connecticut Media, has come to a close. We received an overwhelming number of essays from 29 school districts across Connecticut. The essays submitted truly represented how volunteering impacts the lives of teenagers in Connecticut.

Thank you to everyone that submitted an essay and to all that helped us promote this year's contest. Special thanks to our partners at Hearst Connecticut Media and to the Volunteer Square Advisory Board for reading every essay and helping us award the winners. 

And now, without further ado, we are thrilled to announce the 6th Annual High School Essay Contest Winners. 

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