The Ten Things You’ve Gotta do to Get and Keep Rockstar Volunteers
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"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." -- William Arthur Ward
Volunteers are the heart of a nonprofit organization. Despite their busy schedules and a hundred other engagements, they have committed to take time out to make this world a better place, and to bring a smile to someone’s face. Though they ‘volunteer’ as a selfless activity, one should not forget to appreciate and be grateful for their time and efforts.
While the gratification received through the mere act of volunteering is irreplaceable, a token of gratitude will still make them feel special and keep them motivated to go ahead in their volunteering journeys!
It does not mean one has to give expensive gifts or spend huge amounts. One can express gratitude in simple ways! We’ve curated a list of 7 simple ways to say ‘thank you’ to your volunteer groups.
1.Send a letter of appreciation to your volunteer’s employer- This is an excellent and simple way of appreciating your volunteer’s efforts, something the employer will also appreciate as much as your volunteer. Especially when the volunteer has devoted time during work hours.
Here’s a great sample for your reference!
You made my day!
As I sat here this morning opening the mail, I came across your generous donation. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support for our lifesaving work with Toledo’s most vulnerable children.
Here at Better Tomorrow, our goal is to make sure that no child in our area ever goes to bed hungry. While we served over 150,000 hot meals to children ages 2-18 in 2014, the sad fact is that over 5,000 kids in our area still went to bed hungry most nights last year.
Your generous donation of $200 will go a long way to helping us end child hunger in Toledo and beyond. In fact, with your gift, we will be able to provide over 85 hot meals to undernourished children in 2015.
Thank you! You have made a real difference in the lives of the kids we serve. Thanks to you, 85 children will go to bed full, well-nourished, and better off than the night before.
Jim, thank you once again for your donation. It means the world to us!
Director of Development
2. Create a handmade scrapbook- Memories are amazing to look back at and relive. Collate all the pictures of the volunteers, get comments and messages from the entire team, and put everything together in colorful paper! Nothing is more special than a handmade gift with all the lovely moments captured in it!
3. Host an event for the families of your volunteer groups- There is nothing that can match the feeling when your family is proud of the work you are doing. Invite the family members of your volunteers to an exclusive outing or party hosted at your nonprofit, and keep it a complete surprise for the volunteers. Give out the ‘real heroes’ trophies to each of your volunteers and invite their family members to present those to them!
Source- Australian Greens
4. Simple handwritten notes do wonders- In this age of digital revolution when our eyes are glued to gadgets more than 10 hours a day, a sweet handwritten note is a fresh welcome and something we can store in our closets to cherish those heart touching memories of volunteering, invoking the spirit of giving each time we look at it!
5. With love, From them- This is a two-prong happiness spreading activity! Get your kids/ladies/groups you serve to make little handmade gifts, unleashing their own creativity. It does not have to be perfect, it is already full of love, and that's what matters. Present these to your volunteer groups and their joy will know no bounds once they know about the ‘angels’ who made these!
6. Get your camera out and capture those priceless moments-Mary Immaculate Hospital (Newport News, VA) organized a photo booth at their volunteer appreciation event. Capture those fun moments and present them to the volunteers as a token of your gratefulness. Also upload them on your social media pages and tag each of your volunteers!
Source- Hospice Society
7. Simply call and say Thank You- You have been calling them to attend meetings, get project updates, discuss outreach projects, raise funds...now call them just to say a heartfelt “thank you.” Sometimes a call can do wonders and bring a smile on your volunteer’s face.
Volunteers could be potential donors in the long run. Nevertheless, it is their enthusiasm that fuels and keeps the projects running, and they ought to be appreciated! Share with us how your volunteers felt after you implemented any one of the above.
Venkat Dulipalli is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VolunteerMark
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