4 Ways to Thank Your Volunteers and Staff

  • by Shala Graham
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SW Creatives wishes you a Happy ThanksgivingIt’s Thanksgiving! All around the United States, friends and family are gathering to give thanks and share love and joy. Now is definitely an appropriate time to show your volunteers and staff that you appreciate their service to your organization. Here are four ways you can do that during this holiday season.

Make a list of thanks, and be specific.

Instead of just sending out a general request to serve this holiday season, consider creating a list of 10 reasons why you are thankful for the people who support your organization. Cite specific examples of service and impact, including photos of the volunteers (people love to see themselves in photos). Also include messages from the people that were on the receiving end of their service. 

Get create with a video.

Create a short skit, video tape it and post it to YouTube or Vimeo, then send a message to your email distribution list sharing the video, or post it to Facebook and Twitter. Make the skit clever and humorous, but sincere. Volunteers will appreciate the extra effort you took just to say that you care and you see all of the hard work they do. 

Bring people together.

Host a movie or game night at your facility. Several grocery stores will donate food for nonprofit events. Here in the Washington, DC, area, Trader Joe’s allots each store the ability to donate $50 worth of nonperishable foods to a set number of nonprofit organizations each month. You just need to call in advance to see if there are still slots available, stop by the store to show proof of your 501(c)(3) status, and pick up your bag of food. 

Try turning the tables. 

While this may not work for every organization, allow those that you serve the opportunity to serve you to show their thanks. Kids can create cards, or draw pictures, or sing a song. And adults who many be underemployed or homeless may find strength and dignity in the ability to still contribute, reaffirming the idea that they are still valuable members of society.

Whatever you do this holiday season, take time to pause and remember why you serve and give thanks to those who enable you to do so.