April 9, 2014
If organizations expect people to carve out time from their hectic schedules to serve as volunteers and board members, they need to recognize that the most valuable gifts have no price tag on them. The true value of someone’s time and talents are measured by the joy and fulfillment they feel when they know that their help has been worthwhile. In order to build loyalty with volunteers, organizations need to reinforce these feelings through proper recognition.
Volunteers need to be treated as the professionals they are. Treat them with the respect you would give a fellow employee. Assign clear titles, job descriptions and schedules. Be sure to communicate realistic expectations of their responsibilities.
Be creative in offering fringe benefits to recognize volunteers’ gifts of time and talent.
Benefits may include:
Volunteer recognition needs to be planned and well-organized.
Thanks given carelessly will take the wind out of volunteers’ sails and their enthusiasm may be replaced with apathy. Every volunteer deserves to receive a written “Thank You” for his or her involvement. Whether a typed letter or personal note, the time you spend putting your thanks into words is the sincerest form of recognition.
Each thank you letter should include the following:
Tips for building loyalty with your volunteers and board members:
Volunteers are the life-blood of nonprofit organizations. They need to be treated as customers and rewarded for their service. When volunteers feel valued and appreciated, they will continue to serve the needs of the organization. They will also prove invaluable in recruiting other volunteers.