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How to Thank Volunteers for Helping Out
Thank You Volunteers!
I work with so many wonderful volunteers who help me out in so many ways. I currently work for an Homeowners Association as an Activity Director. I have many volunteers who help out with office work, planning future activities, delivering our monthly newspaper, teaching classes and so much more. The most important thing for me to think about on a daily basis is to thank my volunteers for coming in and helping out. Our department would not be able to offer as much as it does without its volunteers.
I also work with other nonprofit agencies such as our local food bank, senior agencies on aging, agencies for presentation speakers and more. Most of these agencies rely heavily on volunteers as well. So many of my informational workshops and presentations that I offer my senior community are presented "free-of-charge" by retired professionals. They all deserve a great big thank you.
I my ways of how I thank my volunteers give you some wonderful ideas on how to thank your volunteers as well.
Photos taken by our volunteer photographer, Bill Kraiger and Nancia!
Volunteers are paid in six figures...
S-M-I-L-E-S.— Gayla LeMaire
Volunteers - We Need You!
Being needed is being thanked too!
At the adult community where I work as an Activity Director, most of our activities and operations are run by resident volunteers. Even our Home Owners Association Board of Directors and committees are volunteer residents. We thank them in advance for moving to our community and getting involved. I put together a brochure that invites new and long-time residents to volunteer at one or more of the many places volunteers are needed.
Everyone has an array of talents, interests and career or life experiences that they may want to share with us. I give them a form to fill out and return to our office with them sharing a little bit about themselves with us. There are needs for volunteers with office skills, customer service skills, computer skills, publishing skills, food service skills, photography skills, decorating skills, business skills, and much more.
I look at their forms and make a serious effort to match their interests and skills with the right volunteer opportunity. I found this is one of the biggest "thank yous" that I can give is to listen to what my volunteer is interested in helping to do, and finding that place for them in our community. We want the volunteer experience here to be rewarding and fun for them.
Brochure design by Nancia
I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.— William Shakespeare
How to Write Thank You Notes
I write up "little thank you notes" and put them at each place setting. It is the little things that make a big impression.
Little Thank Yous
How to Put on a Volunteer Appreciation Party
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
In the spring each year, we hold a Volunteer Appreciation Party for all the volunteers who help out throughout the year. We usually expect 250 to 300 volunteers each year. The HOA Board of Directors hosts this event and staff thanks everyone all at once. I cater this event since my food volunteers deserve to be thanked. The office staff decorates the Auditorium since our volunteers deserve to be spoiled. I hire entertainment each year as a treat.
We also give each volunteer a small thank you gift from the HOA. I put several thank you quotes on each table in the form of a thank you note. Some of the quotes are listed here on this lens. These quotes can be found at Quote Garden. They have quotes for all occasions.
Our theme this past lunch was "Volunteers are Priceless". I decorated with helium balloons that said "thank you" and bright colored star balloons. I don't think your thank you party needs to be expensive or fancy, but just that you cared enough to invite those who help you out and recognize them for their time.
Balloons are Inexpensive Decorations
I like using mylar balloons because they add a festive flair and color to our parties. Plus I buy the ones that say Thank You and give them away at the end of the party. Everyone loves a balloon!
The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.— Terr Guillemets
More Ways to Thank Volunteers
Just some of the many ways to say "thank you"
There are lots of ways to thank volunteers. The most important one that I use ALL the time is saying “thank you”. I can’t say it enough throughout my day. I make a point to thank my volunteers who work the front counter to help other residents or visitors to our community. I tell them thank you every time they come in to work even for a short time.
I make sure I tell each volunteer thank you for whatever specific task they are helping me or the department with. I remind them on how our department and community could not do it without their help and expertise. A volunteer who offers knowledge on a committee is just as important as the volunteer who works Pancake Breakfast every month.
I keep bunches of little thank you notes in my desk drawer to write a quick thank you to a volunteer who helped on a special project. It is my goal to reach all my volunteers with at least one written thank you note each season. If I can do more, I will!
Other things I am able to do, is to give volunteers complimentary tickets to a concert, dance or food event. They love receiving this little token of appreciation too. I also find little thank you gifts through the year to give out to volunteer crews who put on big events such as New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance, Welcome Back Expo and more. As seen in the photo, one of the volunteers is wearing a special apron we gave the food event volunteers to wear proudly.
Pampering your volunteers a bit is a nice “thank you for all you do”! I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who finds some time in their lives to give to others in a huge variety of ways. There are no small things when it comes to volunteerism and volunteers!
I keep a desk drawer filled with little thank you note cards to use all year around. Sometimes I put in free tickets to an event or you could include a gift card to say "thank you for all you do"!
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. ~Vol
Publicly Thanking Your Volunteers
I put together our monthly community newspaper that can be used as a great way to publicly thank volunteers each month. We have a Volunteer of the Month spotlight featuring a bit about the volunteer; who they are and what they like to do as a volunteer. This article with a photo of the volunteer is popular. I write a column and always include thanking my volunteers who help with whatever event is going on or has just happened that past month.
Timeliness of your thank you is important too, but a thank you any time is appreciated.
If your organization or group does not publish a newspaper, put your volunteer thank you in the company newsletter or better yet, contact the local newspaper of your town and see if they will put a feature article in for you. Local newspapers and even television stations are also always looking for positive human interest stories.
This photo is of a special volunteer, Alison who brings the United Blood Services Blood Drive to our community twice a year. This photo shown here was featured on our community newspaper. I did not tell my volunteer I was featuring her on the cover, and it was a nice thank you surprise to her.
Chocolate Thank You's - One of the best ways to say Thank You!
I have found that I never miss with offering chocolate as a thank you. I even put snack size chocolate bars into our volunteer Clarence's box as his thank you for coming to the office everyday and posting the resident classified cards on the bulletin board. He sure looks forward to finding his "treat" when he stops by the office.
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.
— Elizabeth Andrew
A Special Friend is a Great Volunteer
Last October, my German friend, Heidi came to help me with our Oktoberfest party. She brought authentic german beer signs and decorations from her hometown in Leavenworth, WA. She brought a dirndl outfit for me to wear and helped me decorate the whole room in blue and white. Heidi even assisted me in calling out table numbers in German when it was time to head to the buffet tables. All the residents who attended had lots of fun. Heidi's thank you was to share something special to her with us.