Photo by Sponchia
“Volunteers are not paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” – Sherry Anderson
Everyone deserves to feel appreciated from time to time, especially volunteers! All organizations are grateful for their volunteers, but some forget to show their gratitude as often as they should. To show volunteers how much you appreciate their work, follow some of our tips below:
Why Show Appreciation
If your organization relies too heavily on volunteers’ goodwill without giving anything in return, they may burn out and not recommend others to serve. Thank you gestures are linked to greater volunteer engagement, more referrals, and better volunteer retention.
Make appreciation part of your organization’s plan.
Saying “thank you” shouldn’t only be done once in a while when the thought crosses your mind, it should be an integral part of your volunteer leadership. Consider making a calendar or spreadsheet that includes names, addresses and birthdays, and mail out cards throughout the year. You might also want to consider hosting one or two appreciation events, like a potluck picnic, every year.
- Send cards to volunteers on holidays and/or birthdays
- Submit your volunteer for our Spotlight program
- Add regular volunteer recognition posts to your social media plan
Small gestures go a long way.
Don’t wait for the next appreciation event to show volunteers how grateful you are; take time to say “thanks” in little ways too. Give a shout-out to your volunteers on social media, for example. Or stop by once in a while to ask how everyone’s doing. And don’t forget to leave out refreshments every now and then, especially during big events! No one volunteers just to get free food, but a box of donuts or bottles of water is always appreciated.
People volunteer for your organization because they believe in your cause. Show your supporters you believe in them, too! By investing a little time and energy to show appreciation, you also invest in happier, more engaged volunteers.