Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of your nonprofit organization. They regularly give up their free time to help support your mission. So when managing your volunteers, it’s important to regularly take time to find ways to recognize them and thank them for their effort. Even though your volunteers aren’t looking for recognition and are glad to help serve your organization, it always feels good to be appreciated, and thanking them may encourage them to continue supporting your cause down the road.
Here are 10 creative ideas for saying thank you to volunteers:
1. Write Sincere Letters To Your Volunteers
Write your volunteers a thank you letter, expressing how their support has made your life easier. Be sure to personalize each one. Don’t write the exact same letter for all of your volunteers.
2. Give Gift Cards To Your Volunteers
Find out where they love to shop, hobbies they like, or places they like to eat. Then get them a gift card personalized to their taste.
3. Bring Your Volunteers Their Favorite Coffee
You can’t go wrong with coffee. Be a little sneaky and find out what their favorite cup-of-Joe is. They’ll be thrilled to know you cared enough to get what they prefer.
4. Take Your Volunteers To Lunch
Appreciate a lucky volunteer by taking them out to lunch to get to know more about them. You might find out things you never knew, or even qualities they have that could be better utilized to make a difference in your organization.
5. Give Your Volunteers A Shoutout On Social Media
Use your Facebook or Instagram account to share some thoughtful words about your volunteers. The coolest part about it is other people on social media will see your post and can also give words of encouragement. It’s one thing to be thanked in private, but it’s a whole other special feeling when you are publicly thanked.
6. Make Something For Your Volunteers
Pinterest is the Holy Grail of DIY crafts. There are some really creative ideas out there for out-of-the-box ways to say thank you to volunteers. Do a little research and find some fun ideas unique to your organization.
7. Bring Volunteers Donuts
If you ever want to see a bunch of adults turn giddy with excitement, bring them a box of donuts. Even gym-obsessed people will abandon any diet for a delicious, mouth-watering, sugar-coated, deep-fried, donut.
8. Perform A Song And Dance
Get some of your staff or board members together and form a barbershop quartet thanking your volunteers. You don’t have to go as far as hiring a bunch of adorable retired elderly men to sing thank you praises to your volunteers. Just give your volunteers an overly enthusiastic thanks they won’t forget.
9. Bake Your Volunteers Their Favorite Desserts
Nothing makes a tummy happier than homemade sweets. If you know your way around a kitchen, ask your volunteer what their favorite dessert is, and surprise them with it one day. And if you are a terrible baker, just remember it’s the thought that counts.
10. Send Your Volunteers A Video Thank You From Your Whole Staff
Creating a thank you video for volunteers is so fun. Record short responses from each of your staff members, and send it to your volunteers. No fancy equipment necessary. All you need is a smartphone, but if you want to go crazy with editing, you can also use iMovie on a Mac or Windows Movie Maker on a PC.