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 in the comments.