So, when I was asked to blog about Volunteer Engagement for the January blog, my heart sunk and now we are here in January, it’s safe to say the January blues are here and in full effect. The parties are over, the weather is cold (minus 1 degree at the time of writing), and motivation is at an all time low. We’re all looking forward to the end of the month and the long awaited pay day! But even payday doesn’t offer any solace for our volunteers, they support us for free and yet their support is invaluable – so how can you keep them motivated and make January a brighter month for all? I’ve pondered this question and come up with a few suggestions!

Advertise your projects for the year- Why not use this time to show donors exactly what you have planned for the year and what events you will be running. This way it gives donors the choice to decide if there is particular project they wish to donate to. It may be a fun run they wish to sign up to and help fundraise, or there may be a specific project close to their heart. It may be a skydive that they need a few months to build themselves up for but the ability for them (and you) to plan ahead will be welcome as the year progresses.

Make ‘Blue Monday’  a happy day! – The last Monday before January payday has started to become known as Blue Monday. Why not use this day as a mini fundraising campaign to give people the opportunity to do something fun on this day. Local companies could ask employees to wear a bright colour on the day in aid of your organisation or you could hold a fun day event! Utilise social media to get the word out that Blue Monday doesn’t have to be quite so blue anymore!

Take advantage of those New Year Resolutions – We all have our New Year’s resolutions and I know mine often involve ‘doing something good’ in the next year. Why not seize this opportunity to advertise your volunteering According to TimeBank 62% of regular formal volunteers say they start volunteering because they ‘want to improve things/help people’. Can you share with others what they can do to help?

However you plan on fundraising during January, remember it is not all about having the blues. January is a time for new beginnings and a lot of people are looking to make a fresh start, so banish the blues and get ahead of the game!