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Ways to say "Thank You" to your volunteers.
Here are a few tips to help your organization recognize the value of your volunteers’ contributions, and to let them know their work is meaningful and appreciated.
Make it a priority. Designate someone in your organization to be responsible for ensuring that ongoing recognition of volunteers takes place.
Do it often and be timely. Recognition of volunteers should happen on a year-round, frequent and informal basis – begin by saying “Thank you” often! Arrange recognition soon after achievement has been reached; delaying a thank-you diminishes the value of your gratitude.
Be creative and unique. Vary recognition efforts from informal thank-yous and spontaneous treats to more formal events, such as dinners and awards. Knowing each of your volunteers and their interests helps you learn how best to recognize each individual and make them feel special.
Be sincere. Make each recognition occasion meaningful enough for volunteers to truly reflect on his / her value to your organization.
Recognize the person. Emphasize the contribution of the individual, not the end result. Say, “You did a great job!” as opposed to “This is a great job!”
Make it appropriate. A paper certificate accompanied by a private thank-you may be appropriate for a few months of service whereas a public dinner and engraved plaque may better suit 10 years of volunteerism.
Be consistent. Over the years, consistently maintain whatever standards of recognition you have established. Holding a volunteer recognition dinner one year sets up expectation for future volunteers.