Volunteers are the lifeblood of any non-profit. Without them, charities couldn’t function. Work wouldn’t get done and your projects would fall apart. It’s important that they feel appreciated. They are taking time out of their day to help your organization. Here are some methods to show appreciation to your volunteers.
Often a volunteer is given just mundane work. It might not seem like much if they’re just loading boxes or filing papers. They might not feel a strong connection.
Give them a perspective. Show them your organization’s larger goals and tell them they are part of it. Even the smallest task helps out the team.
Giving food to your volunteers is appreciated. It doesn’t have to cost much. Often you can get it discounted. It doesn’t have to be fancy either. Sandwiches are enough.
It shows that you care about your volunteers. If you can, offer vegetarian or vegan options.
Sometimes, volunteers are placed in a backroom or storage area. This will be away from people. Show them where the bathroom is. Be sure to check up on them regularly. Let them know they can take a break.
Feature on Website
This serves multiple functions. It’s always nice to get special recognition. But during an interview, you’ll also get feedback from a volunteer. If you ask good questions, this information can be very valuable. Websites can always use regular updates.
Interview them personally and use whatever is convenient. You can take them aside during a volunteering session or interview by email or phone.
You could even regularly feature a volunteer. Have a “Volunteer of the Month” or something similar.
Give an Award
Everyone likes an award. Some career-minded volunteers would love to feature it on their resumes.
You have total creativity with this one. “Most inspirational” or “most enthusiastic” are great ones. A “firefighter” award can be good for someone who solves a lot of issues.
Thank You Card and Gifts
If possible, make a handwritten card. This will not only save you money but will be more meaningful.
If you have room in the budget, consider getting a small Dunkin or Starbucks card. Volunteers are important to your organization. Be sure to show that they are appreciated.