Practice Thankfulness

Any time during the year is a good time to thank your volunteers!  Volunteers are helping organizations achieve their mission and provide much-needed assistance to the organizations served.

More Americans than ever are volunteering, according to a new federal study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) The study showed that Americans volunteered nearly 6.9 billion hours which is worth an estimated $167 billion in economic value. 

Volunteers are valuable and their time and efforts are appreciated.  Taking the time to recognize volunteers is important if you want to retain volunteers and recruit new ones.  How do you show you appreciate their services?  Start by thanking them!

Appreciate volunteers by communicating effectively.  Keeping volunteers up to date with opportunities and organizational updates provide great experiences for volunteers and convey the needs of your organization.  By updating volunteers of new opportunities, it keeps them in the “know” and the volunteers are more likely to feel an integral, valued part of the organization.
  • Communicate before, during, and after volunteer opportunities.
  • Ensure consistency is part of the communication strategy.
  • Listen and respond to your volunteer-base through the use of automated communications.
  • Make certain volunteer opportunities are easy to locate and register for.

Provide rewarding and unforgettable experiences for all involved.  Volunteers like to know that they are making a difference.  Promoting and matching volunteers with specific opportunities will promote, retain, and recruit more volunteers.

  • Take time to know your volunteers’ interests.
  • Allow volunteers to identify interests so organizational leaders will know areas where volunteers look forward to spending time.
  • Respect volunteer time by allowing volunteers to serve when possible.
  • Allow volunteers to self-register for opportunities.

Show volunteer appreciation by recognizing personal achievement.  Recognition is important to build a personal link between the volunteer and the impact on the organization.  Volunteers will be gratified to see the number of hours volunteered and the in-kind dollar value of their contributions.

  • Feature and spotlight your volunteers on your website.
  • Send automated email communications to thank the volunteers.
  • Track hours and participation history to demonstrate their efforts.

At the end of the day, it is important to give your volunteers recognition for donating their time.  There is a multitude of ways to show appreciation!  Remember, a simple gold star when logging into the district volunteer software will make a volunteer smile and feel gratification!  Or a thank you email after an event or opportunity!