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The Big Shout-Out

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The Big Shout-Out was a campaign conceived by Volunteering New Zealand to give a ‘shout-out of thanks’ to volunteers. It ran nationwide throughout June 2023, to thank and recognise the immense contribution of volunteers.

Genesis of the campaign

The Big Shout-Out was a ‘Kiwi’ spin on the Big Help Out, part of King Charles the Third’s coronation in the United Kingdom, which asked people to volunteer in their communities.

New Zealand has not seen the same decline in participation numbers across volunteering as the UK and Australia post-Covid. In fact, we experienced some incredible generosity by volunteers and communities in the aftermath of cyclones and flooding affecting several regions of the North Island in early 2023. This was in addition to the response from community organisations addressing the social and environmental effects of Covid-19.

Rather than asking people to volunteer more, we wanted to run a campaign to thank and recognise volunteers.

Key message

We used this key message in our communication to help raise awareness of the work of volunteers throughout society and to encourage recognition.

“New Zealand is a nation of volunteers - more than a million of us volunteer, giving our time and energy to make a difference in our communities. 90% of community organisations are entirely volunteer-run and without their support, much vital work wouldn’t happen. Volunteers are first responders in emergencies, working to conserve natural environments, and supporting vulnerable people in the community.

It’s time to recognise and thank volunteers – to give them a shout-out on social media or shout them morning tea!”

Elements of the campaign

The Big Shout-Out campaign included these elements:

  • ‘Shout your volunteers morning tea’ – events to celebrate volunteers. We funded volunteer centres for celebratory events, and encouraged corporate organisations to participate.
  • ‘Shout out online’ – a social media campaign. We designed a Big Shout-out brand and provided templates for people to use or create their own posts; and we invited mayors and other VIPs to film a short video of thanks.
  • Two key celebration events were hosted by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector, and the Governor General.

This logo was developed for the campaign. It is in the style of a cartoon speech bubble and with 3-D and action elements. The retro font and cursive style lends it a hand-written quality. It uses the universal red colour of volunteering. Non-dated, it can be used in future years.

How it worked

We did this campaign in collaboration, and with funding from, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector. Volunteering New Zealand provided our expertise in running campaigns, such as National Volunteer Week, and connections with our members and volunteer centres.

What it achieved

The Big Shout-out campaign achieved a wide reach via social media, radio advertising, media articles, and events. It was positive and celebratory – thanking volunteers for all that they do. We had comments that people were inspired to volunteer more, prompted by the campaign. We intend to make it an annual event, building on the momentum of the inaugural campaign.


All our templates and resources are freely available on our National Volunteer Week website. Anyone interested in learning more about the campaign can contact Volunteering New Zealand at: office@volunteeringnz.org.nz

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