National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to celebrate volunteers and the impact they have on your organization. Whether raising money for a scholarship fund, helping plan and facilitate virtual or in-person conferences, or serving on the board of directors, making an impact comes in all forms.
As a former volunteer director, I absolutely love national volunteer week. Although (most) organizations give thanks to their volunteers throughout the year, April is a time to step-up the thanks game. Below are three tips to help you have a successful volunteer week.
Make it a thank-a-thon
This is your celebration week! Show your gratitude throughout the week for your volunteer members. Many organizations will have activities planned throughout the week. Here are three simple yet impactful ways that you can turn the week into a thank-a-thon.
- Pick up the phone (I promise, your mobile device does make phone calls). Today, most of our phones only ring with sales calls. What a delight to get a phone call saying “thanks!” This small yet impactful gesture, call easily be done throughout the week in between meetings and daily tasks. If you have a large amount of volunteer members, involve your board of directors in making calls. But, don’t forget to call your board members too!
- Give your members the opportunity to show gratitude to another. Utilize your online community for a “Shout-out Corner” where members can thank one another. This is a great opportunity to engage members and members will enjoy being recognized by their peers. With roughly 50 percent of Americans participating in “informal volunteering” by helping friends and family, you might learn about some behind the scenes volunteers, you didn’t even know you had.
Utilize your online community for a “Shout-out Corner” where members can thank one another.
- Spotlight volunteers throughout the week. Utilize your online community and social media accounts to highlight star volunteers and/or volunteer groups. Spotlight a variety of volunteers. Include those volunteer members that are front and center and those that are behind the scenes. Sharing the praise of your volunteer members publicly will let them know how much you appreciate them.
Personalize. Personalize. Personalize.
The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study found that only 18 percent of organizations personalize member content yet 79 percent of members say that they want personalized communication from their organization. Personalization is one of the best ways to show appreciation for the contribution of the volunteer. A generic message just doesn’t recognize the value of the volunteer’s contribution, like a personalized thank you. National Volunteer Week is a great time to give members what they want and personalize your gratitude. Be specific about the role or the impact that the volunteer member made. For example:
Dear Jane, Thank you for volunteering to write an article for our newsletter. Members loved it! It was the most clicked CTA in our newsletter and the most viewed articles this year. The information you provided will no doubt help your peers propel their career. Thank you for all that you do for APA!
Don’t make an ask.
Nothing is worse than hearing that … “but” after something nice is said. National Volunteer Week is a time for you show appreciation and celebrate your volunteers. Don’t taint the thanks with an ask to do more. You can always ask at a later date, but now is not the time.
Celebrate your members this National Volunteer Week with a personalized thanks and praise. Here, at YourMembership, we are celebrating National Volunteer Week by celebrating YOU – the organizations that make it possible for volunteers to give.
Are you looking to reinvigorate your current volunteer program? Watch the on-demand webinar on Best Practices for Developing High-Performing Volunteer Engagements.