Running an organization is hard work – nobody can do it themselves. However, few organizations can afford help from traditional employees, either. That’s where volunteers come in. They are the heart and soul of your organization.
Volunteers are what makes everything go. That’s why they should be properly recognized. As founder/ manager or an organization, you should actively improve the way you appreciate your volunteers and make sure their efforts are being noticed and awarded.
Below, we have outlined so great ways you can be thankful for your volunteers.
Best Ways to Thank Your Volunteers
Here are some of the best ways to show your appreciation to your volunteers:
1. Surprise Them.
If you record the birthdays (or other important dates) of your volunteers, use this record-keeping to show your appreciation. Surprise and please your volunteers by giving them a birthday card or calling them on Facebook. Past or present volunteers appreciate this and it takes little effort on your part.
2. Gift Them.
Gifting your volunteers for their time shows that their dedication does not go unnoticed. And if a company supports your charity brand, you can convince the company to donate gifts to you. (By the way, students love T-shirts).
3. Praise Them.
A little on-the-job praise does more than you think. Imagine any time you’ve received praise at work. Doesn’t it feel good to be re-assured you’re doing your job well? Volunteers sometimes need that extra push – especially during the particularly mundane days. Don’t let them work without the on-site motivation of your praise.
4. Listen to Them.
Many volunteers are motivated by making an impact. Perhaps they have great ideas and want to share them with you. Give them this opportunity. Ask a volunteer to join you for a coffee and a personal meeting. This is an easy practice to implement within your organization and can lead to great new ideas.
5. Recommend Them.
Don’t forget that volunteering in your nonprofit organization looks good on their resume. In case you haven’t noticed, most people volunteer as a resume bolster. Offer a referral or write a referral for LinkedIn. They’ll love that.
6. Feature Them.
Does your organization have a newsletter? A blog? Are there any publications that promote your organization? Featuring your volunteer is not only a great way to recognize them but also is a great way to bridge a connection between your organization and other potential volunteers. People love a good people story.
7. Feed Them.
All right, let’s be honest. People don’t volunteer because they want a free meal once in a while. But every now and then, pizza and donuts can do wonders to encourage volunteering.
8. Schedule Them (together).
Many nonprofit volunteers joined your organization because a friend recommended it to them. Be aware of the relationship of your volunteers and schedule friends to work together. You should be as grateful for their friendship as they are for your charity’s cause.
9. Respect Them.
A little recognition can stretch for miles; a truly long way. So long, that the desire for recognition is actually the causing factor for some people to volunteer. Most volunteers are moved by gratitude. Applaud their hard work during the next fundraiser or ask if there is anything you can do for them.
10. Support Them.
Volunteers work for you because they believe in you and your cause. Show your volunteers that you believe in them too. Encourage a volunteer to participate in the marathon she always talks about. Push him to take that course in a field that interests them. Nominate one for the award in your community that they are striving for. Be in the audience when your volunteer gives the big speech they talked about.
A little personal support can go a long, long ways.
Improving Volunteer Recognition Within Your Organization
In order to manage your organization efficiently, one of the most important things to realize is your volunteers importance and impact they have on your mission. Once you start appreciating your volunteers, they will start appreciating you and your cause even more.
So, show them some love. Or, better yet, be their friend. After all, nobody is requiring them to show up every day. Recognize them for showing up.
If you’re interested in volunteering with us through one of our partner organizations, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
If you’re a part of an organization and you’re interested in becoming a partner of CreativeVolunteer, don’t be afraid to give us a shout at email@example.com and we will see what we can do together.