National Volunteer Week is an ideal time to think about new ways to thank your members who volunteer and give their all to your organization.
Here are some powerful ways to take your volunteer appreciation up a notch.
By Caitlin Hustrulid, Marketing Manager, Community Brands
Volunteers do so much for your association. They make it possible for you to do more to accomplish your organization’s mission than your small staff could accomplish alone.
That’s why National Volunteer Week (it’s April 17 – April 23 this year) is a perfect time to think about new ways to thank your members who volunteer.
Of course, it’s important to thank your members throughout the year using best practices, including sending thank you emails and handwritten notes, and including shout-outs in your email newsletter. But National Volunteer Week is a great chance to take your volunteer thank yous even further.
Here are 5 impactful approaches:
1) Put social media to work.
There are multiple ways to use your association’s social media channels to thank your volunteers. For instance, you can thank your volunteers publicly, noting how many hours they’ve worked in the past 12 months and what they’ve helped you accomplish. You can also thank individual volunteers for specific work they’ve done and tag them for additional exposure. And here’s something you might not have considered: Offer to write recommendations for your volunteers on LinkedIn to help them improve their profiles and further their careers.
2) Thank your volunteers at an event.
Your annual conference or other in-person and virtual events give you another opportunity to publicly thank your volunteers. For in-person events, you might invite volunteers to come up on stage or stand for a round of applause. For virtual events, you might list volunteers’ names on a PowerPoint slide.
3) Give volunteers exclusive time with your keynote speaker.
Host a volunteer meet-and-greet activity at your next event. Invite your keynote speaker (or other industry VIP) to welcome and talk with your volunteers.
4) Use your online member community.
Your online community is a powerful tool for engaging members, which makes it an effective place to acknowledge the work your volunteers do for your organization. Thanking your members who volunteer through your online member community not only gives them public accolades, but it also can encourage other members to join in with the thank yous and even volunteer their own time.
5) Establish a “volunteer of the year” or “volunteer service award” program.
Create a program to honor your most outstanding volunteers and recognize their impact on your association. For example, honor volunteers each year who have donated the most number of hours of their time. Or honor those who have made the greatest impact on your organization.
As we near National Volunteer Week, keep in mind that showing gratitude to your volunteers is just one important aspect of a strong volunteer program.