Saying thank you…beyond Volunteers’ Week (1/2)
Saying thank you… beyond Volunteers’ Week
In a previous post, we talked about Volunteers Week, an annual celebration and time to say thank you to our volunteers which takes place every year on the first week of June throughout the country.
But have you thought about the value of continuous reward and recognition for volunteers?
Whatever reason people decide to volunteer and share their skills, acknowledging the positive impact and contribution they have to your organisation can be fundamental to keeping them motivated and interested, so you can retain them for as long as possible in your volunteer team!
In this two-part blog, we will share some ideas on how you might recognise and reward your volunteers below – but you can always contact our Best Practice Adviser, Amalia (Amalia.Loizidou@vchackney.org) to get tailored ideas of what might work best for your specific volunteer team.
Say thank you!
Thank your volunteers regularly. Tell them how their specific tasks have helped the community/your organisation. You can even send them cards or e-cards on special occasions.
- Just ask! Organise a focus group or volunteers’ forum and discuss how they would like to be thanked – which practices would they find most beneficial to feel motivated in their work?
- Take part at formal reward and recognition events, such as Volunteers’ Week or International Volunteer Day on 5 December.
Awards and certificates
Some people are very motivated by awards, but be aware of how this might impact other members of your volunteer team and how you want to thank them too. You could organize your own award system internally, but there are also lots of external events and awards you can nominate volunteers for.
- Nominate your volunteers for external awards such as Room to Reward, Team London volunteer awards, Small Charities Coalition, or Hackney CVS.
- Consider an internal award system e.g. certificates for outstanding volunteering, hours of volunteering, long service hall of fame or ‘volunteer of the month’ on display (on website or office noticeboard etc.)
- Take part in volunteer reward schemes such as Value You.
Share what volunteers have achieved
Showcase your work and impact to the public, your partners and funders as well as to your volunteers. By asking them to make their story and their work and contribution public, you’re showing them that what they do is important enough for others to read and find out more about.
- Write up volunteer case studies to share
- Write press releases on volunteer successes/projects
- Profile volunteers on website, newsletter, social media
For more ideas on how to reward and recognise your volunteers, look out for the second part of this blog post which will be published next week.