Volunteers are the backbone of most organizations. They help with fundraising, administrative tasks, and word-of-mouth marketing. Sure, they tend to do it out of the kindness of their hearts, but it’s still important to make them feel appreciated.
In addition to a simple “thank you,” here are five things we guarantee your volunteers love to hear:
“We’re so happy to have you here!”
Trust us, a warm welcome goes a long way. Volunteers want to know their time and effort is appreciated. After all, they could’ve spent their day shopping, at the gym, or with family, so let them know that you recognize that, and more importantly, appreciate it.
“Let me introduce you to…”
While some volunteers come in groups, others may very well come alone. If that’s the case, introduce them to some of your other helping hands. Invite them to work alongside small groups and include them in conversations when possible. Remember, the more comfortable your volunteers feel, the more likely they are to come back.
“We’re doing this because…”
Volunteers want to know that they’re contributing to a greater cause. Let them know how their role is helping with your organization’s overall goal or mission. It’s easy to get lost in the assembly line when you can’t see the finished product, so help your volunteers stay focused by clearly defining your goals.
“Whatever works best for you.”
Just as you’re super busy, your volunteers are super busy too. Give them a little leeway when it comes to times and tasks. If they can’t show up at exactly 3 p.m., tell them 3:30 is perfectly fine. If they’d rather paint shelves than build new desks, let them have at it. Any and all effort is appreciated, so provide them with some flexibility.
“We did it!”
When the job is done, make sure to acknowledge your team’s success. A shared sense of accomplishment can be a powerful motivator for people, and it might even inspire your volunteers to come back.
Great, now you’ve got your volunteers engaged! But how do you engage your other (maybe less involved) members? Find out below in our free member engagement guide!