Changing Up Your Thank You

Philip Manzano • Feb 16, 2017

There are tons of ways to thank your volunteers. Find one that works for you! The post Changing Up Your Thank You appeared first on Keela.

Volunteers do amazing work for nonprofits. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do the great work that we do – it’s just a fact. But, we are always faced with the dilemma of how to thank them, because sometimes words are simply not enough. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are some interesting ways that you can engage with your volunteers to make sure they feel appreciated:  

1. Highlight their work

It’s a terrible feeling to be proud of your work, and have no one say anything about it. And that’s doubly true for volunteers who are not being compensated for their time. As an organization, you have a wonderful opportunity to build up your volunteer base by continually looking for opportunities to celebrate your volunteers for doing great work.

Give them a shout out in your social media feeds. Spotlight them and their accomplishments in a blog post. Feature them in a newsletter that gets sent out to your subscribers or member lists. There are tons of places to do it. The important part is that you use these channels to really brag about your volunteers. These volunteers could be anywhere right now – giving their time and expertise to a number of different organizations and causes.

But they chose you. And that’s something to celebrate!

2. Go old school and write them a letter

When’s the last time you received a hand-written letter from someone? I bet it’s been a while! With the way that technology has advanced, it’s easy to see why. At the touch of a button, you can get a message out to thousands of people. You can send emails with videos and pictures, full of links to tons of great content.

But when it comes to saying thank you, it’s best practice to personalize this message as much as possible.

There’s something special about a hand-written message. And it’s mainly because of the time and care that it takes to put it all together. This means that an individual had to manually write out this message, and physically mail it to an individual. This time and effort mean a lot to volunteers, and can help to make them feel more appreciated for their work. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not too much time to do it. So give it a try.

You might find that it creates a happier volunteer force!

3. Give them awards

There are times when volunteers truly go above and beyond. Because they care so deeply about the work, it’s easy to see their passion come out in the projects assigned to them. But what do you do for those few that just stand out with their performance?

Try giving them an award!

Volunteer appreciation comes in many shapes. Take advantage of some organization-wide awards to recognize your volunteers. If your organization doesn’t have these established – then make them yourself: “ The Most Enthusiastic ” “ The Best Volunteer Effort ” “ The Most Inspirational ”. Be creative and have fun with it! Just be authentic with your awards and hand them out at a time where you can share your appreciation for them, with others.

Those are some great ways to meaningfully engage with your volunteer base – and have some fun at the same time.

Do you have any fun tips for thanking volunteers? Tell us about them!