No, it’s not actually April- yet. But it soon will be! Be honest- when do you start planning for National Volunteer Week? It’s April 10-16 this year so my guess is around April 1.
Here’s a few easy ways to start planning now and make sure your volunteers know that YOU know your organization wouldn’t exist without their generous service.
- Even if your budget for volunteer recognition is $0, an informal email from the President/ED with a few examples of how volunteers helped further your organization’s mission paired with a heartfelt thanks can help your volunteers feel appreciated.
- Do you have a Volunteer of the Year award? Maybe you did at one point and the program lapsed. Bring it back or start one now. All it takes is a simple one page nomination form, a committee to pick the recipient (your Board can do this if they’re interested), an email announcing nominations are open, and a printed certificate to present to the winner during Volunteer Week.
- Ask a local business to donate items for a thank you coffee break. Muffins and cookies in the kitchen with a sign thanking volunteers are always appreciated.
- Encourage your staff to seek out volunteers and to take a minute to give a sincere “thank you.”
- Conduct a volunteer survey and ask volunteers directly how they’d like to be thanked, whether they have the support/training they need, whether they feel valued, etc. Surveys are easy (and sometimes free depending on the number surveyed) with Survey Monkey.
- Take a few hours and map out a formal Volunteer Recognition Plan.
- Check out Volunteer Canada’s Volunteer Recognition site for more ideas.