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Ideas for how you can participate in #NSVW20



We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

At this uncertain time, we feel that it is more important than ever to acknowledge and promote the value of student volunteering.

National Student Volunteer Week 2020 will go ahead; however, it will be different this year.

We encourage education providers, volunteer organisations and students to embrace technology and offer online activities.

Depending on your state’s current restrictions it may also be possible to host smaller in person events that follow COVID-safe guidelines.

By participating in #NSVW20 you can celebrate student volunteers and also support the well-being of students experiencing isolation.

COVID-19 resources for the sector


For education providers


  • Volunteering activities: Organise for students to collaborate on meaningful activities that support the work of a volunteer organisation, such as coast or bush conservation, caring for injured animals, cooking meals for sick children and their families, or supporting the well-being of people experiencing homelessness.
  • Micro-volunteering activities: Hold micro-volunteering sessions where busy students can pop in and lend a hand for a short amount of time on easy tasks, such as card making for refugees, logistic packing for charity events, preparing care parcels, or arts and craftwork. These small actions can have a big impact on the larger community.
  • Inter-institutional activities: Work together with other education providers in your locality to organise a group volunteering activity where students can make new friends while they make a difference.
  • Tokens of appreciation: A heartfelt thank you, thoughtful gift, memorabilia to cherish, or versatile vouchers. A simple act of kindness is a great way to show student volunteers your gratitude.
  • Be an ambassador: Share student volunteering messages online with the hashtag #NSVW20. You could profile an inspiring student, create a video about your volunteer program, give a shout-out to available opportunities, or blog about the personal and professional benefits of volunteering. You may like to use our social media images and borders.


  • Host a workshop or panel: Arrange for inspiring speakers to talk to students about applying for volunteer positions, making an impact, learning from the experience, boosting employability, or exploring the current needs of the volunteering sector. You may like to invite your State or Territory’s Peak Volunteering Body to be involved.
  • Promote social justice: Facilitate important conversations that empower students to delve into the issues that face our world, such as climate change, combating racism, women’s advancement, or LGBTQIA rights. Offer avenues for how students can take action to advance these causes.
  • Encourage student led initiatives: Build the capacity of students to effectively manage student led initiatives that create change on and off campus. This could involve developing their volunteer management and leadership skills.


  • Bring students together formally: Recognise, honour and reward the achievements of student volunteers at a formal event, such as an awards ceremony. You may like to use our certificate template.
  • Connect students with volunteer organisations: A volunteer expo, networking session, presentation, or information stand. Whether it’s a short pitch or an in-depth dive, help students to learn about the array of volunteer programs available to join.
  • Help students search: Provide students with ‘drop-in’ sessions where they can access one-to-one support to find a volunteer role that matches their strengths, values, interests, and career aspirations. You could also promote govolunteer.com.au where students can view and apply for available volunteering opportunities.
  • Bring students together informally: Provide a space for student volunteers to connect with one another. It could be over morning tea, a barbeque, pizza lunch or a picnic. You may like to incorporate some games, icebreakers or team building activities.


For volunteer organisations


  • Say thanks informally: A handwritten letter, a personal phone call, a social media shout out, or a newsletter feature. These are all great ways to show your appreciation of student volunteers. You may like to use our social media images and borders.
  • Say thanks formally: Hold an awards ceremony or a recognition event where student volunteers are publically acknowledged for their significant contribution. You may like to use our certificate template.


  • Facilitate personal and professional development: Reflect on opportunities you can offer to student volunteers to help them reach their potential and grow into responsible and skilled young leaders.
  • Hold meaningful conversations: Ask student volunteers for their feedback on how you can enhance the experience of volunteers and make your volunteer program more creative and fulfilling.
  • Diversify your volunteer program: Hold a brainstorming session on the types of student volunteers you would like to attract to your organisation. Identify relevant education providers and faculties that you can reach out to.


  • Unite over purpose: Motivate student volunteers by demonstrating the outcomes and the positive change that results from their work.
  • Bring students together: Organise a social event where student volunteers can share a meal or a coffee, or have fun collaborating on a morale-boosting activity.

We also recommend you view our events page to check if there are any #NSVW20 activities where you can connect with student volunteers.


For students


  • Learn more about volunteering: Visit our volunteer page to read about the benefits of volunteering, including how it can boost your employability, as well as choosing the right role for you.
  • Find a cause to contribute to: Search online with govolunteer.com.au to find a volunteer role where you can make a difference. You could also speak with your education provider’s careers and employment or community engagement teams. They can connect you with initiatives, clubs, and societies on campus or with nonprofit organisations.
  • Create your own project: Do you have a solution to a problem that society is facing? Be a trailblazer and plan a social impact project that you can implement in your own community.


  • Reflect on what you’ve learned: Has being a volunteer sharpen your skills? Has it expanded your understanding of the complex issues that affect our world? Take some time to consider how volunteering has shaped you.
  • Share your ideas for improvement: Do you have feedback that could enhance the experience of volunteers? Let your volunteer organisation know your thoughts and help them make volunteering more rewarding and impactful.


  • Participate in the #NSVW20 social media campaign: Has volunteering changed your life? Share your experience online and inspire your fellow students to give volunteering a go.

We also encourage you to have a look at our events page to see if your education provider has any #NSVW20 activities planned that you can get involved in.


For holding online events

Thanks to technology you can hold an online event for student volunteers during #NSVW20. We have listed some ideas below to help get you started:

  • Virtual volunteering expo or fair
  • Virtual volunteer panel
  • Live or recorded workshops
  • Online social event (coffee or lunch, an awards ceremony, fun games, competition)
  • Thank you video
  • Social media posts (promoting the benefits of volunteering, available opportunities, or quotes/ advice from student volunteers, outcomes of your volunteer program)
  • Virtual volunteering activity or micro-volunteering activity
  • Online resources, training, or skills development
  • Online one-to-one consultation sessions
  • Send a digital certificate.

Online event tips:

  • Incorporate videos and photos of your student volunteers
  • Build visually interesting slides/ presentation
  • Invite dignitaries and diverse guest speakers to present
  • Develop techniques to ensure participants feel involved including the ability to submit questions, polls or quizzes
  • Make it inclusive with clear language, captions, large fonts, high colour contrast.

 Platforms you could use:

  • Zoom
  • Google Hangouts
  • Facebook Live
  • WhatsApp
  • Slack
  • Instagram – Live, IGTV or Stories
  • YouTube Livestream
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat.

Be sure to share a photo or video from your event using the hashtag #NSVW20 and tagging National Student Volunteer Week and Volunteering Australia. We’d love to see how you are celebrating National Student Volunteer Week.


For keeping student volunteers engaged

It is also important during this time to keep your student volunteers engaged and ensure they feel connected while they are away. Here are some ideas to keep your student volunteers engaged:

  • Regular online catch ups
  • Email updates
  • Text messages
  • Social media posts
  • Phone calls
  • Share a video message 
  • Ask student volunteers to complete a survey
  • Live webinar
  • Online training or skills development session
  • Consider offering virtual volunteering
  • Connect each staff member with a volunteer

Remember you can always ask your student volunteers how they’d like you to keep in touch, every volunteer is different.

Private group on social media or an online forum

If you don’t have one already, starting a private group on social media or an online forum is a great way to engage with your student volunteers. It gives you a platform to share updates and is a great way for the student volunteers to connect with each other. Here are some ideas on how you can engage with student volunteers via a private group on social media:

  • Share updates on what is happening during isolation
  • Share thank you video messages
  • Share statistics, facts and a timeline on what work has been achieved thanks to your student volunteers
  • Ask student volunteers to share stories of their volunteering experience
  • Share a fun guessing game or competition. E.g.: pet photos, baby photos, best recipe, or best DIY project
  • Weekly activity or challenge and ask them to post photos and comments
  • Ask volunteers to share ideas about how they are managing their wellbeing in isolation and share photos of what they have been up to. E.g.: cooking, gardening, DIY, art, and craft.