3 min readApr 20, 2021

12 Ways to Show Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteers are some of the most loyal, helpful and important parts of any nonprofit. Recognizing the hard work and dedication your volunteers devote to your organization is the key to retain and continue to grow support. In honor of #NationalVolunteerWeek being this April 18–24, we’ve compiled a list of 12 ways to make your volunteers feel appreciated today and every day.

  1. Rally Your Community Together to Write Thoughtful Letters

It’s likely your volunteers have had an impact on the people, animals or communities your organization helps serve. Have your community come together and write an appreciative card or letter to volunteers who have touched their lives. If you work with animals, stamp some pawprints and write as if the animals could speak!

2. Give a Personalized Small Gift

A small thoughtful gift is a perfect and personal way to show your appreciation for volunteers. Keep a note of your volunteer’s hobbies, interests, favorite coffee shops/restaurants, etc. and show them you appreciate all they do with a small gift.

3. Spotlight Your #VolunteeroftheMonth

Share your appreciation by recognizing volunteers on your social media channels with the hashtag #VolunteeroftheMonth. This is a great way to showcase how much you appreciate your volunteers to your community of donors and supporters. Your surrounding community of followers will likely show some appreciation by liking, commenting and sharing these posts as well!

4. Host a Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony

This is a way to gather your volunteer community and really highlight everyone’s much appreciated hard work and dedication within your organization. Make it fun and more rewarding by giving your volunteers unique certificates of appreciation.

5. Feature Them in Your Newsletter

Save a spot in your next newsletter to showcase your volunteers. This is a great way to show your appreciation to your volunteers and their contributions to your organization. If you decide to feature a volunteer every month, this is a great way to always know you’ll have fresh content for your newsletters.

6. Celebrate with Some Food

Who doesn’t love a surprise pizza or donut party? Show some appreciation by bringing in some food for your volunteers. This is a great opportunity to support a local restaurant as well. Keep your volunteers and community restaurants happy all at once!

7. Value your Volunteer’s Feedback

It’s important your volunteers know they are trusted and valued within your organization. Don’t be afraid to sit down with them and gather some feedback from their experience. This is a way to show them you care, while also seeing an outside perspective on your organization.

8. A Volunteer Board of Recognition

Put up a photo and profile of a volunteer that continues to shine within your organization. This is a great way for your volunteers to feel appreciated within the walls they serve. It also allows the community to get to know your volunteer a little better in the process!

9. Have Your Executive Director Give a Call

Have your Executive Director personally call volunteers and let them know how appreciative your organization is for all they do for yout nonprofit. In a world of quick texts, a simple phone call can mean so much more.

10. Send a Virtual Gift Card

Show you care and cover your volunteer’s next coffee! A simple surprise like a gift card popping up in your volunteer’s inbox will make their day and show your appreciation in just one click.

11. Recognize Milestones for Service

Whether volunteers have been with you for 1 or 10 years, this is surely worth some recognition. Recognize these milestones by giving your volunteers a certificate, gift, letter or all of the above.

12. Feature Volunteers on Your Website

Make your volunteers known to your community by featuring them on your website. Have a volunteer spotlight on your home page or even allow your volunteers to write a blog on their experience in your organization! People love hearing from their peers, so this is a great way to bring some new volunteers in the door.

Your volunteers are a vital part of your organization. Invest in a software that allows you to easily track and manage their history within your organization all while giving them access to their own volunteer portal and information.

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