April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, so it’s a great time to say thank you. Volunteers make a difference in schools, churches, businesses, nonprofits, communities, and many other places. It’s hard to imagine a world without volunteers!
Here are some tips for thanking your volunteers.
Find out their likes and dislikes
Many organizations have a volunteer form that someone must complete prior to filling a volunteer role. If you oversee a small team of volunteers and don’t have a form, perhaps it’s time to start using one.
On that form, you can go beyond simply asking for necessary information like phone number, address, etc. Try also asking for some basic information about what they like or dislike, such as their favorite color, favorite candy, favorite beverage, any food allergies, how they like to relax, etc. Then when it comes time to thank your volunteers, you already know a little bit about their likes and dislikes. If you don’t want to use a form, capture notes throughout the year as you learn little details about each volunteer.
Make it personal
There are two ways to make a thank you gift personal, and both are important. First, make it personal with a handwritten card. Be specific about how that person contributes and makes a difference through their volunteer efforts. Have you noticed that they’re always the last to leave in order to make sure everything is cleaned up? Are they the first to arrive or the one who always brings snacks? Make notes of these little things along the way and express your thanks with specific examples.
Second, you can make it personal by customizing a gift to that individual. If you’ve captured some of their likes and dislikes through a form or simply getting to know them, you can customize a gift basket to the individual. That could mean a tea sampler and a cute red mug for one volunteer, and a coffee sampler and blue mug for another. It could be a subtle, but yet still a meaningful difference.
Say it more than once
While April is certainly a great time of year to recognize volunteers, volunteer appreciation shouldn’t be limited to one month of the year. Be sure to recognize your volunteers year-round in many different ways. That might include a quick email of thanks, handwritten notes, certificates for service, a special lunch or dinner, and much more.
If you’re searching for unique gift ideas to say thank you to volunteers this month or any time of the year, come visit our gift shop to browse some ideas.
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