Volunteer Hot Topics: Trends, Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys, Games, Holiday Gifts for Volunteers, Volunteer Orientation, and Movies About Volunteering! | Track It Forward

Volunteer Hot Topics: Trends, Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys, Games, Holiday Gifts for Volunteers, Volunteer Orientation, and Movies About Volunteering!

Written by Kasey Murphy

Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community Recap: Dec 1 - Dec 14

The Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community has overflowed with some hot topics, all related to - you guessed it - volunteering! With the holiday season approaching, many feel that giving out holiday gifts is a wonderful way to show volunteer appreciation, and to spread holiday cheer! 

While holiday gifts for volunteers are obviously a great idea, not many people can afford them! But, luckily there are some very creative Volunteer Coordinators in this facebook group that gave us some ideas! 

Answers to the Poll About Holiday Gifts For Volunteers

Hi everyone! With the holidays, I was curious as to how everyone was giving out holiday treats or gifts to their volunteers - if at all! 
Add your own answers, too, and comment on what sort of gifts you give out!

While the majority of people did not give holiday gifts, many found unique ways to give out their holiday gifts for volunteers this year with social distancing! 

Here are some of the holiday gifts that volunteers received! 

  • “We are sending a Christmas card including a pocket calendar and volunteer thank you keychain. Normally we have an open house with food and activities for appreciation/Christmas but not this year.”

  • “We will send a small voucher and a card.”

  • “We mailed a custom-made (beverage) coaster to each volunteer!”

  • “I’m am doing the following: 

-Christmas card emailed today
-etransfer if 25.00 for dinner purchase for our gathering tonight
- yearly Holliday Gathering with dinner and online game
- social media appreciation
- individual check ins weekly started in November and follow ups on messenger, phone and email”

There are so many comments just like these, giving fun ideas! Check out the post here. 

Resources About Holiday Gifts For Volunteers


Speaking of Holidays.. What Games Can You Play in a Virtual Holiday Party! 

We have battled the virtual meetings, events, and professions. Now - the holiday party! It is definitely not ideal, but a holiday party is a great way for volunteers to feel appreciated. And this year, it might just have to be virtual. 

The facebook group provided great ideas for games in this post about virtual holiday parties for volunteers! 

I'm in need of some fun, interactive ideas for a Zoom Holiday Party! Something easy to put together is a plus as I'm what some would call

Suggestions For Virtual Holiday Party Games 

  • “Jackbox Games - price and and number of participants per game varies - offers a range of games that can be played virtually, with instructions on how to do so here.”

  • “Scattergories - free (up to 45 people) - create your game and share the link!”

  • “Trivia - free, no limit on participants - use this random trivia generator. Have the host ask the questions and everyone has to answer in the chat box - no calling out!”

  • “Charades - free, no limit on participants, Zoom.  The host uses this free word generator, sends the word in a private chat, and then uses  the 'spotlight' feature to highlight the 'actor' for the round.”

  • “Virtual Scavenger Hunts - Send people on a hunt around their house to collect various items or complete challenges, like a selfie with a pet! Use this list, google for others, or make your own.”

  • “They have planned a simple baking recipe and bingo. The plan is to send the recipe (shortbread) and bingo cards out by email, so people will have their bingo cards printed and ingredients ready to bake.”

  • “Not to be lazy but you can hire someone to be a special guest or host it for you! We had alpacas visit this fall and will be using a virtual game host for upcoming parties.”

Resources For Virtual Games 


Have you ever ran a volunteer satisfaction survey? 

A volunteer satisfaction survey might seem like a lot or like a scary thing to do, but it is actually one of the best ways to identify if you have reached your goals as a Volunteer Coordinator. 

Volunteer Satisfaction surveys provide answers on burning questions about your performance as a Volunteer Coordinator or Manager. There are many different ways to run a volunteer satisfaction survey. You can think about doing them anonymously so that volunteers feel comfortable to divulge information. Volunteer satisfaction surveys can be done via email, in person, as a written assignment, or with multiple choice or scale questions. 

Depending on your volunteer program, your satisfaction survey will be different from other organizations. It is still good practice to start with a volunteer satisfaction survey and improve the quality of it throughout time!

Do any of you send out satisfaction surveys? I'm working on gathering data on our volunteers and want to send out a survey with questions regarding satisfaction, engagement and continuity. Would love to know some of the questions you ask your volunteers to know what keeps them going Questions on Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys

  • “I do a learning opportunity survey. this gives the volunteers an opportunity to evaluate their training, placements, supervisor and needs and their supervisor a chance to so the same. The outcome of the survey helps to determine the trainings offered the next year.”

  • “I divided the surveys this year due to programs being on pause bc of covid. I am sending a engagement survey to everyone to help with feedback on the ongoing engagements we are currently providing. Then I am sending a satisfaction survey to the open program volunteers.”

  • “We send one to all volunteers in January for those who logged hours the year before.”

To see all of the examples of questions that organizations ask on their volunteer satisfaction surveys - click here! 

Resources for Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys


The New Year Is Approaching Which Means New Volunteer Orientation! 

Volunteer orientation is a great opportunity to welcome new volunteers and train volunteers for the upcoming year. Using the start of the year as a guideline, volunteer orientations can be tough to plan - especially if you have to switch them to virtual! 

I’m the VC for our local Habitat for Humanity.  I am presently working on switching our Volunteer Orientation over to a virtual presentation.  Has anyone who’s done this have any tips? And I’d love to get a link to actually see yours too. Thanks

Do you have any tips for moving a volunteer orientation over to a virtual volunteer orientation? Comment on this post! 

Comments About Virtual Volunteer Orientation

  • “Hey! We moved our orientation fully online this summer. All PDF's and quizzes are hosted through google drive. Overall this has been a very successful change to our process!”

  • “Hello, I am also a Volunteer Manager for a Habitat. This is our orientation video for our ReStore: https://youtu.be/MlEQ0mA4Ds0

  • “Here's RASKC's online orientation if you scroll down to "Getting Started" and click on the plus (+) sign at www.kingcounty.gov/raskcvolunteer. We ask everyone to answer a few quiz questions via the ProProf software on most of the modules. Very much hoping to resume offering in-person volunteer orientation when COVID subsides (and also allow virtual NVO as an option too).”

Resources on Virtual Volunteer Orientation 


As you start to wrap up your year, you might notice some volunteer trends that have occurred throughout 2020, or in a pattern for many previous years. 

Volunteer trends and patterns are quite interesting to study, and we encourage you to share your patterns and experiences with volunteer trends to see how other organizations can relate! 

Anyone who has volunteers active - are you getting more during Covid? New ones?  I have a quick turn around radio interview this afternoon and wondering what other places are experiencing with volunteer trends - more under 25 years old volunteer? Less volunteers? Thanks!!!  We have volunteers active and have added over 170 new volunteers since June 1 - of all ages - upside down bell curve -  more in the under 30 and over 60 ages than the middle - I'm assuming the middle is at home with kids, working from home, caring for older parents, etc.

Comments About Volunteer Trends & Patterns

  • “The teens (and there parents) are loving my remote volunteering opps...this helps them get their required community service hours from home and i get a virtual resource library! A great win-win”

  • “Surprisingly, more. This is my best quarter yet.”

  • “We have had an increase in volunteers since June, however it would be higher if my animal teams were less reluctant (understandably so) to add new volunteers to the team. We have created a new one off role to invite volunteers to come in in certain days to do specific jobs. Due to furlough this has been very popular!”

  • “We have had so many new volunteers. I can’t really process and train the amount wanting to help. It’s mostly younger people (35 and younger). That is difficult because most of our volunteer needs are before 5 pm. Many of our older volunteers have not returned and many of these new, young volunteers are at work or school during the day.”

Comment here about your volunteer trends or patterns you have analyzed in your organization! 


Lastly, Let’s Go To The Movies! Do you have any film favorites about volunteering? 

Movies about volunteering are a great way to bond with your volunteers and to gain a different point of view via watching an entertaining movie! 

Check out the full list of volunteer movie recommendations here!

Movies about volunteering

  • Pay It Forward

  • Dog Days

  • Patch Adams

  • The Antidote

  • Same Kind of Different As Me