How to Thank Dedicated Volunteers

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Why are volunteers important?

Volunteers are dedicated individuals who selflessly donate their time and energy to help raise awareness for a cause, run events and fundraisers, or act as temporary chaperones and guardians for special events. Skilled volunteers are among the most important, creating high impact whether building sets and structures, coaching a local team, handling basic organizational issues, or using their creativity to promote your event and services.

While volunteers are by definition unpaid, this does not mean that they are unappreciated. Organizations and groups can show their thankfulness to volunteers during ceremonies, luncheons, or during the official appreciation week. National Volunteer Week was first established in 1974 through an executive order issued by President Richard Nixon. This event was created to recognize people who seek out ways to get involved by volunteering in their community and exhibit the importance of working together to accomplish a task. Every U.S. President since that time, in addition to elected officials across the country, have announced similar Volunteer Week edicts. This inspires citizens to volunteer their time and help outreach organizations and communities in need.


How do volunteers make a difference?

Those who volunteer normally do so at the expense of their personal time. They make a difference every day at facilities and companies, adding manpower both physically and conceptually by exchanging ideas when tasked. Volunteers are most valuable to non-profit organizations, since they freely give of themselves to boost a cause or promote an event at little to no cost.

Unpaid volunteers can help keep budgets and costs down, contributing to the success of your bottom line in more than one way. From schools and healthcare facilities to community centers and polling stations, volunteers make a decided difference by donating hours of work without drawing a salary. This also gives you a chance to make your own difference through a gesture of good will in the form of volunteer appreciation gifts when your event or their service ends.


How do volunteers help the community?

Volunteers help their communities by offering time and money to advertise events or services. They could be retirees looking to give back to the community with on-site volunteering or financial donations. Youngsters and millennials volunteer as a way to make their mark on the world and contribute to a cause they find important. Whoever decides to volunteer and help the community, the benefits range from fostering teamwork and creating profit potential to promoting awareness and much more.

During national community service events such as Make A Difference Day in October, or any day of the year, local volunteers of all ages are there to answer the call. They could help the community by cleaning up parks, volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter, organizing a car wash fundraiser for a local school, or simply manning the public library or nearby vote center. Volunteers can find your events online, through local newspaper ads, school newsletters and emails to parents, or through flyers found at public service buildings like post offices and town halls.


How to thank volunteers

National Volunteer Week in April is an ideal time to thank the valuable volunteers who contribute to your organization or cause. Of course the timing of their contribution may necessitate an event or ceremony to be scheduled outside of the April dates, and on-the-spot recognition for volunteers is always a welcome surprise. Give volunteer appreciation gifts from Positive Promotions all year round to show how much you appreciate their generosity and selflessness.

There are so many unique solutions for offering thanks to volunteers. Keepsake awards such as lapel pins are low-cost, high-impact methods of showing gratitude or giving participation gifts. Take time to outfit your volunteer staff with colorful t-shirts that promote your company or awareness message and show unity.

From tote bags to water bottles to personal letters, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to thanking your volunteers. Appreciation gifts always make an impression, and you can add personalization to selected gifts so volunteers remember your thoughtfulness long after their service has ended. Best of all, they may be willing to volunteer again when you’re in need!

How to thank volunteers in words

Personal letters and greeting cards are terrific ways to thank volunteers in words for their invaluable service. You can also make a heartfelt speech at a National Volunteer Week celebration, or at an event wrap-up party.

Volunteer gifts can also be given as a way to show gratitude with words. Just choose reusable bags or volunteer t-shirts with a recognition slogan such as Volunteers: The Heart of Our Team or Volunteers Make The World a Brighter Place and they’ll know how much you appreciated their time and assistance.


What are volunteer appreciation event ideas?

Holding a volunteer appreciation event can be as easy as it is fun! We’ve selected a few helpful volunteer appreciation ideas to get you started on making your celebration unforgettable.

• Build Anticipation: During the week leading up to your event, surprise participants with useful and inspirational volunteer appreciation gifts that celebrate how volunteers make a difference, such as lanyards, drinkware, and pens.

• Create Buzz: Hand out small gifts and rewards that encourage volunteers to get excited about the event, from lapel pins to bracelets to mugs. Not only will this make the volunteering experience positive, but also shows appreciation for their services.

• Wear It Well: Provide personalized t-shirts with your organization’s name for guests and staff to wear at your volunteer appreciation event. Take a group photo to post on your website or share on social media.

• Plant The Seed: Remind volunteers how they have contributed to growth within your organization or community by giving out volunteer-themed seed packets or mini watering cans as unique party favors.


How to throw a volunteer appreciation party

Recognizing their efforts is one of the most important things you can do for volunteers, and throwing a volunteer appreciation party is the best way to do just that! Enjoy these tips and tricks on how to throw an entertaining volunteer party to show your gratitude.

• Announce your event with a postcard or banner, and invite each dedicated volunteer personally as an extra-special touch.

• Decorate the event space with colorful volunteer balloons, banners, and a celebration pack filled with unique gifts for all the participants on your volunteer team.

• Hold a themed luncheon or dinner during National Volunteer Week, at the end of the school year, or the day after your event or project is over. Choose a theme based on a movie or television show genre (sci-fi, western, 80s throwback).

• Have raffle packs on hand to add some excitement to the party. Give out free tickets to each volunteer and call raffle numbers at the end – to really show appreciation, have at least one gift for each volunteer so everyone wins!

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