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Churches would not exist without the faithful contribution of their most valuable labor force – its volunteers.
Volunteers give of their time freely because of a passion for the ministry it serves.
Showing volunteer appreciation is an important aspect of effective volunteer management.
However, keeping volunteers engaged and motivated is what showing them appreciation is all about.
A well-managed volunteer program has systems in place to reward and recognize volunteers strategically and deliberately.
Because we all have different social styles, it’s important to keep the various perspectives and likes and dislikes in mind when creating a volunteer appreciation system.
A volunteer program requires financial support and needs to be funded by the church budget.
The church budget should designate dollars for volunteer appreciation. But, there are many no-cost ways of showing appreciation.
30 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Volunteers
1. Personal thank you note from pastor.
2. Personal thank you note from volunteer supervisor.
3. Personal thank you note from volunteer office coordinator.
4. Preferred parking.
5. Birthday card.
6. Video story highlighting a volunteer.
7. Promote a faithful volunteer into a leadership role.
8. Allow a volunteer the opportunity to share best practices with other volunteers.
9. Feature a story about a volunteer on the church website.
10. Assign a strong volunteer to represent the church for a community event.
11. Assign a volunteer to be a community spokesperson.
12. Develop volunteer Sunday and use it to acknowledge all volunteers.
13. Reserved parking for volunteer-of-the-month.
14. Create volunteer appreciation committee and select a few volunteers to participate.
15. Make a public recognition of a volunteer at a church service.
16. Post a thank you note on the volunteer’s locker or work area before they arrive for their shift.
17. Create a photo wall in a hallway recognizing volunteer years of service.
18. Place a phone call from the volunteer office randomly thanking volunteers.
19. Share positive feedback you hear about a volunteer back to that volunteer.
20. Create traveling trophy that highlights volunteer commitments.
21. Arrange a photo with senior pastor.
22. Arrange a photo with volunteer team.
23. Write a volunteer appreciation poem.
24. Plan an annual volunteer appreciation dinner.
25. Develop volunteer-of-the-year award.
26. Plan a lunch with the senior pastor and his wife.
27. Take advantage of national volunteer appreciation week. National volunteer appreciation week is usually the 2nd or 3rd week in April, so you have plenty of time to plan your volunteer appreciation for the week! This year it is April 18-24, 2021!
28. Host a volunteer appreciation day.
29. Develop volunteer-of-the-month program.
30. Send volunteers to specialized training (i.e., children’s ministry, emergency preparedness, food safety).
Distribute gifts to show volunteer appreciation.
Gift Ideas For Volunteers
- Pens Logo Pins
- Volunteer t-shirt
- Baseball cap,
- A round of golf
- Dinner gift certificate
- Personalized Stationery
As with showing appreciation to employees, it is important to create a system and develop annual departmental and employee goals to ensure recognition is done.
Also keep in mind the different social styles we all have and incorporate ideas that cover all different social styles.
For example, some people feel appreciated from simply words of affirmation, others likes tangible gifts and others enjoy spending time with leadership.
Keep these different preferences in mind so you can create an appreciation model that truly shows your gratitude for volunteer labor.
What types of things do you do to show appreciation for your volunteers?
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