International Volunteer Day (IVD) December 5th is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organisations and individual volunteers to make their contributions visible – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organisations over the Internet.
The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organisations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.
Through the Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organisations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development, working to achieve the MDGs and engaging people to shape the sustainable development agenda.
International Volunteer Day 2019
This year 2019, the theme is in alignment with that of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), i.e., Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.
The theme for IVD 2019 will pay tribute to volunteerism empowering people to participate in their own communities; volunteering to promote inclusion, diversity, non-discrimination; and volunteerism as a mechanism to reduce inequalities in society. Accordingly, the tagline for the IVD 2019 will be: Volunteer for an Inclusive Future
The Day is an opportunity for us all to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at local, national and international levels.
UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally. This year the campaign will focus on SDG 10 and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.
Downloads and resources
These are resources from 2018, 2019 resources will be online in November.
- Dowland a Certificate of Recognition for your volunteers (MS Word)
- International Volunteer Day 2018 Poster 1 (Adobe PDF)
- International Volunteer Day 2018 Poster 2 (Adobe PDF
- Volunteer Recognition Ideas (Adobe PDF)
- Download a toolkit for online activities for IVD 2018
- Download a toolkit for offline activities for IVD 2018
- You can download other resources for the 2018 event from the UN Volunteers web site