4 Fun Ways to Show Gratitude to Volunteers and Reinforce Your Nonprofit’s Culture
Posted Thursday, March 9th, 2017 by Sterling Volunteers Staff
Volunteer Appreciation Week may be a couple months away (heads up – it’s April 23-29!) but there this is no time like the present to communicate to all of your wonderful volunteers how invaluable they are to you and your nonprofit organization. Your volunteers are irreplaceable to your organizations and the communities you all serve, so make sure they know how much the time and effort they donate means.
Not sure what to do? Don’t panic, we have some quick and easy ideas that you can pull together in a jiffy or keep in mind the next time an opportunity to say thank you arises:
Put Pen to Paper
Sometimes the traditional approach is the best. There is something about a small note expressing gratitude that connects with the recipient in a touching way. Avoid finding a generic card and simply signing your name. Include a few sentences noting the unique contributions and successes of the volunteer to let them know you have seen all of their hard work. And if you can’t make a run to the nearest shop for stationery, a thoughtful email can be just as effective.
Find the time to come together to celebrate your nonprofit’s many successes and the volunteers that helped make them happen! Alert everyone that a special coffee and donuts gathering is taking place. Or have a potluck where everyone brings their favorite dish from home. They will be pleasantly surprised when they arrive to see that this get-together is being held in their honor. Play music, give a speech thanking your volunteers, and enjoy. Bonus idea: have a small door prize as an incentive to attend.
Social Media Shout-out
This form of gratitude is a great way to publically acknowledge a volunteer who has done exceptional work and connect with the community your nonprofit serves via social media. If you have a campaign going or a special project going, give a shout-out on social media to the volunteer leading the initiative. This will give the outstanding volunteer recognition AND promote your organization and its current projects.
Take out two birds with one stone: when it’s a volunteer’s birthday don’t just say “Happy Birthday,” say “thank you” as well. A birthday card with a handwritten note and and a small box of candy will make a volunteer feel remembered and appreciated. If they won’t be volunteering around their special day send an email instead thanking them for their hard work and wishing them a joyful day. To remember birthdays, add the date to a spreadsheet with all volunteer birthdays when a new volunteer joins the team.
Do you have fun, creative ideas for giving thanks to volunteers? Share with us the way you show thanks and let volunteers know their time and efforts are truly appreciated. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and share your comments below.