Volunteer Recognition: 8 Ways to Thank a Volunteer & Make a Difference (2024)

The world indeed is a busy place where we spend hours at our workplace and then in our side hustles and if we have some time left then we just choose to enjoy our free time on the beach or doing some other leisure activities. In our daily lives, we don’t even give a single thought about world problems like hunger, poverty, environmental issues, and many more things. Why shall we even think about those things, when our life is doing great, itself? But how long would you be able to ignore your social responsibility of giving back to the society that made you?

Some people love contributing to social causes. Those volunteers are the real unsung heroes of our communities who tirelessly work for hours just to make our lives better. Whether it be spending hours in a day at clean-up drives, teaching students for free, or just contributing their hard-earned money to environmental causes. They do it all by going out of their way to make the world a better place for us to live and thrive in. 

So, as a nonprofit organization, it’s your responsibility to recognize the efforts of your volunteers and give them some sort of appreciation to encourage them and to keep them going. In this article, we’ll be discussing why it’s so crucial for you to appreciate your volunteers and then we’ll wrap up with some ways that you can use to appreciate them.

Why Does Volunteer Appreciation Matter?

As an organization, it’s really important for you to recognize your volunteers’ tireless efforts. Doing so doesn’t only encourage and motivate volunteers to work harder but it also makes them feel their efforts are valued. Think of it in a little business way even though you don’t work for money, the business principle of employee retention applies here very smoothly. Think of employee retention as volunteer retention. 

The point here is to retain your volunteers with your organization for a long-term period. To do so recognizing their efforts is crucial, making them feel valued and loved or even going out of your way and giving them rewards for their hard work, can do the job. Don’t worry the rewards don’t have to be monetary or something really expensive. It can be genuine volunteer appreciation ideas as simple as a heartfelt handwritten thank you card or an acknowledgment during team meetings or volunteering events. This will motivate them and also encourage them to keep working for your organization.

 8 Heartfelt Ways to Appreciate Your Volunteers

  • Personalized Appreciation

When it comes to recognizing your volunteers’ efforts, one size does not fit all. So, take some time out to thank a volunteer and make a personalized appreciation for them. You can do things as simple as crafting a handwritten thank-you note or giving them a small personalized gift.

  • Highlight Achievements on Social Media

Everyone loves being the center of attention on social media. Why not shower some limelight on your volunteers too? You can consider making a post or even a video on your social media pages to thank them for their tireless efforts and hard work.

  • Organize Volunteer Appreciation Events

Sometimes, a simple thank you card is just not enough to show how much you appreciate your volunteers. So, it’ll be a great idea to organize a volunteer appreciation event just to highlight volunteer’s hard work and also give them rewards for the same.

  • Professional Development Opportunities

Besides expressing your gratitude through thank you cards you can also reward them with things like skill development programs. These programs will not only help them in their professional life but it’s also a great way to show how much you care about their well-being and value their efforts.

  • Gift Cards

If you are not sure about how to appreciate your volunteers’ efforts you can consider giving them gift cards. They too are a great way to show appreciation to your volunteers for their time and efforts for your organization. 

  • Offer them a Letter of Recommendation

A letter of Recommendation (LOR) can be great to appreciate your volunteers. They work wonders in boosting your resume’s credibility. By giving LORs to your volunteers you don’t only show your appreciation for their efforts but you’re also helping them grow in their careers. 

  • Give them a Thankyou Call

This one is quite simple but a very effective one. To show your love and appreciation for your volunteers’ invaluable efforts just give them a call to say thank you. Or you can also consider setting up a meeting for them with a senior board member to highlight their efforts. A simple call from your side can make their whole day.

  • Volunteer Appreciation Certificates

Besides LORs giving a letter of appreciation or an appreciation certificate can also be a great way to show your gratitude to your volunteers. Such things not only motivate them but they’re also super valuable from their career growth point of view.

Final Thoughts

As an organization, you must show your gratitude and appreciation to your volunteers to motivate and encourage them to keep doing such good deeds. Doing so makes them feel valuable and also encourages them to keep working for your organization for a longer time. Happy volunteering!

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