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ThankYou_horizThis week, April 12-18th is Volunteer Appreciation Week, a time to recognize and appreciate the people who spend their time and energy to serve in organizations without compensation all around the world. Current estimates say that each year there are more than 30 million hours of service provided by volunteers. Using the current volunteer value established by the Independent Sector, this means that volunteers are contributing approximately $675,500,000 annually to nonprofits. (For your calculations, the current estimated value of volunteer service is $22.55).

Many nonprofits would not be viable organizations without the support of volunteers. Below are some ideas to help you thank your volunteers.

  • Spotlight one of your volunteers in each newsletter. Talk about the service they provide, the length of time they have served, etc.
  • Share organizational results with volunteers. Since they are contributing to the success of the organization, be sure to let them know what they have helped to accomplish.
  • Surprise your volunteers with their favorite coffee or tea.

One key to providing meaningful gestures of appreciation to your volunteers is to know them. Know why they volunteer and what is important to them. Do they want to be publicly recognized for their service, or are they people who would rather be thanked quietly?

Another tip for success…value volunteers in the same way you value your employees. Provide them with a job description that outlines their role and responsibilities. Create a volunteer handbook so that they know exactly what is expected of them. Depending on the volunteer task, it may be helpful to provide volunteers with an email address so that they are kept informed about what is happening within the organization.

It is not too late to begin. You can start today. Have you thanked your volunteers for their contributions lately? If not, plan a spontaneous appreciation event, it is never too late or too early to say “thank you.”

Your organization can grow its base of volunteers when they feel appreciated and valued. We can help you develop a volunteer handbook, give us a call today.

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