Membership Toolkit celebrates volunteers

Volunteer Appreciation–Planning the Celebration

Thanking someone for the gift of their time is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader. Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 18-24th this year) is the perfect time to do just that! Volunteers give their time because they can see the bigger picture and want to lend themselves to it. This being said, just because they’ve signed up once to lend a hand, doesn’t mean they are locked in for good. Showing your appreciation for all that your volunteers do will help ensure they step up year after year. 

Volunteer Appreciation Week is a designated time of year where you’ll be able to shower all volunteers with love and appreciation for all that they’ve done throughout the year. From your room parents that have signed up for a yearlong gig, to the dads that set the cones out for your jog-a-thon that one morning. All raised their hand and without them, you would have had to find someone else or would have had to do it yourself. For this, you are thankful.

The Volunteer Celebration

A morning? A day? A week? It’s up to you, your committee, and your budget exactly what type of volunteer celebration you have. Pick a time that works within your means, whether it’s a morning continental breakfast, an evening time potluck or a weeklong of grab and go goodies. Anything you choose will work as long as it’s done with thought and care. Make sure to coordinate with your Principal and/or admins. They, hopefully, will want to participate and you’ll want to make sure they will have the opportunity to do so-even if for just a quick pop in!

Show your volunteers appreciation. Image of 4 women celebrating with confetti.
Volunteer Appreciation Toolkit
OUR STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR PLANNING VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION EVENTS— WITH IDEAS, GRAPHICS AND MORE!

Volunteer Appreciation Budget

No matter what you are going to do, you’ll have a budget to maintain. If you are planning a week of grab and go goodies, seek out donated items from your local stores and businesses. A catered lunch? Big chain and local restaurants do donate or discount catered lunches for nonprofits, but you have to ask. And don’t forget to give them a social media shout out! If you are celebrating virtually, think about setting up grab and go boxed lunches or meal vouchers you can put in a card for your volunteers to pick up or you and your committee can drop off. Any of these options are a fantastic way to show your appreciation. 

Membership Toolkit Volunteer Appreciation Certificate - Image of a downloadable Volunteer Certificate Template



Volunteer Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Virtual Meet-Up...

All of these work well to host an event. Volunteers are usually the ones running around trying to get all the things done. They are the best and most appreciative group of people you will ever do anything for! Choose one and run with it. Meals can be catered (remember to ask for a discount!) or potluck. Be sure to include teachers in your planning to get their ideas. They may want to run with it.  I know this firsthand. At my son’s school, our teachers took volunteer appreciation over many moons ago and now it’s an amazing luncheon they put on every year. It’s something we all look forward to. All because at one meeting, the teachers were included in the conversation and two teachers said “we’ll handle it”. Needless to say, we are so appreciative of those two teachers that set the “new pace” for our volunteer week! 

Volunteer Appreciation Celebration Ideas from Membership Toolkit. Image of a table set for a celebration.

All of these work well to host an event. Volunteers are usually the ones running around trying to get all the things done. They are the best and most appreciative group of people you will ever do anything for! Choose one and run with it. Meals can be catered (remember to ask for a discount!) or potluck. Be sure to include teachers in your planning to get their ideas. They may want to run with it.  I know this firsthand. At my son’s school, our teachers took volunteer appreciation over many moons ago and now it’s an amazing luncheon they put on every year. It’s something we all look forward to. All because at one meeting, the teachers were included in the conversation and two teachers said “we’ll handle it”. Needless to say, we are so appreciative of those two teachers that set the “new pace” for our volunteer week! 

THANK AND ENCOURAGE YOUR VOLUNTEERS WITH FREE GRAPHICS!

Thank Your Volunteers Personally

 Nothing can be truer than the saying “it’s all in the details”, so make it personal, not business-like.  Set your theme for your event. It can be as simple as printing out volunteer or acts of kindness quotes and putting them on the tables. (Check out our Volunteer Graphics and quotes below to download.)  Think about what type of celebration they’d prefer. In person at a restaurant, the cafeteria? Virtually? Short and sweet or a lingering dinner with lots of catching-up time? Do they want their kids and spouses there or do they want some “me time” and just have it for them? All details to consider. Use our 101 Ways To Say Thank You for ideas on all that you can do. Once you decide on the event details, make sure and send out an invite (hand-delivered or electronic) to each volunteer.

Ways to say Thank You to volunteers
101 WAYS TO THANK YOUR VOLUNTEERS. FIND THE PERFECT (AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY) WAY TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION!

The Volunteer Thank You

Why are you all gathered? So that you can thank them! If you are honoring special volunteers for the year, make sure and give a proper toast with details on all that they’ve done. Don’t forget to thank their families for their time as well. Volunteers’ spouses and kids are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. They are often part of the set up and clean-up crew. Make sure to recognize that. Maybe think about giving a little special thank you gift to their kids.  Baked goodies, flowers, plants and a good ol’ fashioned printed framed award speaks volumes. Our Fun With Puns article has some fun and easy gifts all will love. Again, it’s all in the details. At the end of the day, your thank you should be heartfelt and genuine as that will be the greatest gift.

There is never one person behind a year’s worth of events.  Your volunteer appreciation celebration is the time to thank and show how appreciative you are to all that lend a hand and help make the work a little bit lighter…and definitely more fun.

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Thanking someone for the gift of their time is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader. Showing your appreciation for all that they do will help ensure they step up year after year. 
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Have fun with puns for volunteer appreciation

Have Fun With Puns to Show Your Volunteers Appreciation

Showing your volunteers appreciation in all that they do should always be a top priority. Coming up with new, genuine, and personal ways to show appreciation, can sometimes be challenging. What’s important to remember is to keep it simple, probably budget friendly (especially if you have a large group), and always keep it fun.

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