Remember what your parents taught you about being polite? Things like, “Where are your manners?” and, “Don’t forget to say please and thank you.” Well if you’re a recreation professional who relies on volunteers in any way, it’s time to dust off those age-old teachings. Saying thank you to your volunteers is crucial for many reasons. Here’s how to thank your volunteers effectively while gathering the right information and improving retention rates:
1. Information collection – Make sure to collect contact information for each volunteer. When they fill out a waiver with birthdays and other info, that can be useful later in saying thank you (example: send birthday emails to your volunteers).
2. Response Options – Depending on your budget, here are some ways to thank them after the event or task:
- Email – Send personal emails if it is a handful of volunteers or a mass-email with customized names if you have a large group
- Letter – Send an old-fashioned letter or card
- Phone Call – Do you have the time to make personal calls?
- Event – Is it in your budget to have a get-together for your volunteers?
3. Retention – However you decide to thank your volunteers, be sure to use that communication wisely. Insert a call to action for your upcoming volunteer opportunities. That way, your thank you letter can be an act of gratitude and a way to retain your best volunteers.
SEE ALSO:Top 5 Places to Find Volunteers
4. Other appreciation ideas
- Suggestion box – Being asked for advice is fulfilling
- Thank through social media – Offering a big thank you to all of your volunteers through a Facebook post is easy and free
- Free stuff – Can you offer your volunteers some free shirts or some perks?
- Commemorative items (plaques, pins, certifications)
- Birthday notes
How do you say thank you to your volunteers? Share you ideas below in the comments.
Follow us on Twitter to keep up with more recreation trends, tips, and discussions: