Volunteer now for our common future (face of smiling woman)
29 % of UN Volunteers on-site were under the age of 29, and 51 % were women.

2021 Theme: Volunteer now for our common future

We aim to inspire people, whether they are decision makers or citizens of this world, to take action NOW for people and the planet.

The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

When people are encouraged to get involved in solving problems, the solutions are more likely to be feasible and lasting. Volunteers engage communities and build a people-centric movement to help build a better and safer future for us all.

For the generations of TOMORROW, we must take responsibility for the changes needed to build a better future NOW. Encouraging, recognizing and promoting volunteerism is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities and worldwide.

In the lead-up to #IVD2021, let us celebrate the contributions of the millions who #volunteernow.


UN Volunteers, making a difference to the lives of many

Volunteering is giving, sharing, standing by others, supporting causes you care about and creating a better future for everyone.


Help us spread the message and volunteer for our campaign by:

  • Posting a photo, video or graphic to show how you #VolunteerNow for our common future! You can find visuals and other resources for common use in the campaign on this Trello Board
  • ‘Nominating’ another person to also "volunteer now for our common future", by tagging them with the hashtags #passiton #volunteernow #IVD2021. Example: “I volunteer to raise awareness about environmental sustainability/pant trees/do clean ups in my community. I #passiton to @UNVenture to also #volunteernow for #climateaction.”
International Volunteer Day logo

Did You Know?

  • 70% of volunteer work does not involve any organization but happens informally between people in their communities.
  • A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression.
  • Research shows that - compared with people who never volunteered - the odds of being “very happy” rose by 7% among those who volunteer monthly and by 12% among those who volunteer every 2-4 weeks.

Source: UNV 2021

Volunteerism is one of the most vital delivery mechanisms for social, environmental and economic transformation, ensuring a lasting impact with its ability to change people’s mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. People become actors of change and equal partners in the attainment of local, national and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme recognizes the shared universal values underpinning volunteerism – free will, commitment, equity, engagement, solidarity, compassion, empathy and respect for others.


report cover with abstract design

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) is a flagship United Nations publication that strengthens understanding of volunteerism and shows its universality, scope and reach in the twenty-first century. Produced every three years, the SWVR examines the contribution of volunteerism to peace and development based on a specific theme.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.