Volunteers are an essential part of any nonprofit organization. Their contributions to your community save you time and money and gives employees time back in their schedules as well. In fact, studies show that volunteers are worth around $28 per hour and have a 66% chance of donating to the organization they’re volunteering for than individuals who don’t volunteer at all.
Of course, people have their own reasons for volunteering for your organization. Some volunteer because it gives them the opportunity to give back to their community and develop news skills, while others do it because it holds a special place in their heart due to a family member leaving their legacy with the organization. No matter a volunteer’s reason for supporting your organization, the main thing to recognize is the fact that they are giving up their personal time to contribute to your organization. That’s time they could be spending resting, being with friends or family, or working.
The bottom line is that the contributions that volunteers make to nonprofit organizations are priceless, therefore, it’s important to show your appreciation to them.
Branded gifts are a traditional gift that is typically received very well by volunteers. If you opt to go with branded gifts, you want to make sure they’re gifts that your volunteers will be happy to receive and will actually find useful. One of the worst items you can give as a gift is something that will collect dust or get thrown away. Good branded gifts to give volunteers include the following:
1. Drawstring backpacks
4. Water bottles
5. Fanny packs
These are items your volunteers will love and will make them feel like part of the team.
You can never go wrong with gift cards. You can opt to do a gift card to a specific place or a Visa gift card so they can spend their money how they want. It is completely up to you the dollar amount you want to give. Place the gift card in a nice card with a handwritten thank you and the gift is complete.
This form of gratitude can go a very long way in showing appreciation to your volunteers. This will require you to be mindful in taking photos during certain volunteer projects for this to work, but if you have good photos to use, get those photos developed and put them in a nice picture frame and write a nice thank you card with it. You can put each of them in gift bags or boxes.
Hosting an appreciation event is a grand way to show gratitude for the hard work the volunteers have put forth. You can take the volunteers to a local restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can also host a taco bar or ice cream social at your office.. The focus of the event should be on the volunteers and to make the volunteers feel special and valued.
Get in contact with your board members and ask them to call volunteers to thank them and let them know how much they’re appreciated. Simply provide them with a list of the volunteer’s names and numbers, and you can even provide a small detail about them or something they did that was really special and thank them for that. This will let them know that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed by the staff or the board members.
A handwritten letter may seem like a small gift, but we live in a digital world and everything can be, and usually is done via email, text, or social media. So, a well thought out, handwritten letter can bring an incredible sense of magic and warmth to the recipient. It’s something they can keep and always come back to as a reminder of how much they are appreciated by your organization.
Volunteers do the work they do and rarely expect anything in return. However, your organization wouldn’t be what it is without their help, which is why showing gratitude is very important in keeping volunteers engaged in the organization’s mission and goals.
At KM Clark, we know and understand the integral role volunteers play in the overall success of nonprofit organizations. Whether you want to do a small gesture of appreciation or a grand gesture, we can help you plan and execute a strategy to not only show gratitude for all their hard work, but also help you keep volunteers excited and interested in continuing volunteering with your organization. To schedule your consultation appointment, give us a call today!