Volunteers are amazing. They do vital, and often unsung, work for the love of the cause.
To get you ready for Volunteer Appreciation Week—that’s coming up April 12-18—here are 5 ways to let your volunteers know how important they are, courtesy of Cindy Gendron of Homes for Horses Coalition:
- Smile! It's a non-verbal but powerful way to make volunteers feel valued, and creates a friendly atmosphere so they'll want to return.
- Use names. A volunteer sign-in page can serve as a cheat sheet – every time a volunteer comes in, check the sheet for the person's name and then use it in a friendly, personal greeting.
- Say thank you. Say it often, and say it sincerely.
- Encourage friendships. When volunteers feel a personal connection to other volunteers and staff, they're more invested in their work, because it's also part of a rewarding social outlet.
- Work side by side. Volunteers will feel more important if you come out from behind the counter or out of your office and work alongside them, even if it's just for a few moments. That camaraderie shows you're approachable and that you value the volunteers' time.
What would you add to the list?
For five ways to increase your paid staff's appreciation for the work volunteers do, read our new article, “Top 10 Tips to Keep Volunteers Happy.”
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