Last Minute Quick Wins to Celebrate National Volunteer Week

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Did it sneak up on you again? National Volunteer Week 2019? April 7 is the kick-off. Don’t despair. Here are some quick actions:

Social Media Shout-outs
  • Get your staff together for a picture and hold up a sign saying thank you. Post to Instagram, LinkedIn etc. with #NVW #VolunteerLove.
  • Grab a bunch of volunteer pictures in action from the past year (conference, chapter events, etc.) and create a fun montage to post & share. (Here are 16 tools you can use to make this easy!)
  • Know volunteer handles? Tag volunteers in a shout-out.
  • If you are techy or have a staff member who is make a gif or meme you can share. Download an app like GIPHY Cam and make a gif of you before and after you were impacted by your volunteer. A simple frown followed by a smile will suffice. Or make a simple meme using a tool like MemeCenter. Send these to your volunteers randomly throughout the day. (Thanks to Rachel Bell of VolunteerPro for this idea and 9 others.)
Old-fashioned Letter
  • Write and send handwritten notes. Don’t try to do all at once if you have lots of volunteers. Do a couple every day. Need help on writing the perfect note? Check out How to Write the Perfect Volunteer Thank you.
  • Spread the work around and ask each staff member to write a couple of thank you’s.
Email
  • Send a short succinct thanks to all volunteers. Don’t get long. Just a “We wouldn’t be where we are without you! Thanks!
  • Create a simple montage (see social media above) or gif and send by email.
  • Change your signature line for the week to put in an appreciation for your volunteers – just a way of letting everyone know how valuable they are.
Phone Calls
  • During this week, have the welcome message on your auto-attendant updated to say you appreciate your volunteers during this week and throughout the year.
  • Make a couple of quick calls to just say thank you. If you have to pick and choose, call the volunteers you haven’t had much contact with. Ask staff to chip in.
Staff Accolades

Yes, I know its National VOLUNTEER Week but as volunteers told us in the 2016 Mutually Beneficial Volunteering Research, one of the key elements for satisfaction was staff. So, use this week to thank staff for their efforts. Consider:

  • Quick meeting to find out what’s working for them – and not working for them. Are there ways you can make their job more efficient?
  • Spotlight a different staff liaison and their volunteer team each day in interoffice and external communications.
  • Bring in lunch and have staff share effective practices.
  • Have your board chair send a personal thank you – phone call (maybe a zoom conference call with staff), letter or email – to staff.

Celebrate your workforce – unpaid and paid!

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Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.