A New Year’s Resolution: Thanking Volunteers

On my New Year’s resolution list is a simple item – thank my volunteers in a more personal way. Here’s a working list for making that happen:

  • Write Thank You Notes that stand out. I will begin with personalizing them and Kivi Leroux Miller posting on Nonprofit Marketing Blog offers a great example from Ocracoke Child Care. And here, compliments of Sandy Rees are Ten Ways to Energize Your Thank You letters. Loved her idea to include an offer to tour your facility or program site – let’s volunteers see firsthand the work that you do may make all the difference.
  • Create gifts that connect to the task. I found more ideas on Wild Apricot Blog including one that described how they personalized a gift based on the project.
  • Give back. There are lots of ways to do this including comping registrations to events, sending volunteers for training, and a super one, #46 on the list “100 ways to thank, support your volunteers”. I think at our night events, we’ll see about having on-site child care. Check out #57 on the list too.
  • Change up the traditional “thank you dinner” … maybe with an Afternoon at the Movies, one of several good suggestions found on Ongoing and Informal Ways to Thank Volunteers at Energizeinc.com. Check out #57 on the list too.
  • Participate in National Volunteers Week. In 2009, this is April 19 – 25, 2009 and there are some ideas from 2008 at the Points of Light site to start my planning.
  • Participate in the President’s Volunteer Service Award program by becoming a Certifying Organization and honoring my volunteers.
  • Design flexible and multiple volunteer activities for members. The Decision to Volunteer study by ASAE & The Center reported that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to matching members with volunteers roles. I’ll show the best form of appreciation by fitting volunteer roles to the person, not the other way around.

I’m open to more suggestions, so please tell – how have you thanked your volunteers?