Thank Your Volunteers - It's National Volunteer Week

national volunteer week 2013Happy National Volunteer Week YNPNer’s! April 21-27th is a time to recognize and celebrate the work that is done through service, and as we all know, volunteers are essential at helping to carry out the mission of any nonprofit organization. From serving at your nonprofit’s annual fundraiser to providing day-to-day support, volunteers are a great group of individuals who are passionate about the work of our organizations and want to donate their time to support.
According to the Independent Sector, the estimated value of volunteer time in Georgia is $20.77/hr. That’s an incredible amount of worth that these individuals are providing for organizations that are operating as cost efficiently as possible.
During National Volunteer Week (and really, throughout the year), find some time to recognize the volunteers who help your organization thrive. Here are some ways you can acknowledge those individuals:
-       Handwritten Thank You Cards – With the noise of email and social media, some volunteers, especially ones of older generations, would prefer more personal and individual forms of gratitude. Handwritten cards, notes, and letters can show your volunteers that you took the time out to craft the message to them.
-       Make a video or photo slideshow – Along with writing a note, if you have long term volunteers or ones that help at major events or fundraisers, consider creating a video or photo slideshow that highlights not only the event, but those that were on the ground helping to make it all run smoothly. Make some copies for your volunteers to take home so that they can look back fondly on their service experience and pass it along to others, which can help your organization retain and recruit new individuals for future events.
-       Write a Recommendation – For skills-based or long term volunteers, writing a recommendation, either as a letter or on LinkedIn, that emphasizes the quality of the individual’s work would be a great way to recognize their service. This would also be a good vehicle to highlight the details of the projects the individual worked on and how it contributed to the goals of your nonprofit organization.
-       Highlight them on social media – A public (and free!) way to recognize your volunteers would be on social media. You can send a tweet using #NVW, post pictures, or make a video that shows you and your organization’s gratitude to the service these members have contributed. When you tag them on a status, tweet, or other media, their networks will be able to see the post and also recognize the volunteer for the great work they did, while learning more about your organization at the same time!
-       Treat them out – The next time your volunteers come to serve, offer to take them out for lunch or coffee. This will be a nice surprise for your volunteers, and it’ll be a great way for you to get to know them on a more personal level. You can learn more about what they’re looking to get out of serving at your organization and how their service fits into other parts of their lives.
Visit VolunteerSpot for other ways that you can say thanks to volunteers during National Volunteer Week. What are some ways your organization has recognized volunteers? Share with us in the comments below!