Four Ways To Appreciate Your Volunteers
We need our volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do without them. They absolutely deserve our appreciation, so here are four tips on how to show them how much they mean to you and your ministry:
Get To Know Them
You need to know your volunteers. You are going to have those that love being affirmed in front of others. You are going to have those that will be totally embarrassed by public recognition. I wish I could give you a one-size-fits-all approach for appreciating your volunteers, but I can’t because you’re going to have a whole range of personalities. So, take that into consideration as I give you the following suggestions. How you show appreciation to your volunteers will, at least in part, depend upon how they’re wired.
I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t love a handwritten note – even those that enjoy more public recognition. Consider taking time every so often to write a handwritten note to each of your volunteers. Tell them specifically what you appreciate about them. Tell them about the impact they’re having on the children. Tell them how you’re praying for them. If you’re the Children’s Pastor of a large church, ask other staff or key volunteers to write notes, too.
Texts are awesome, but I rarely save texts. I save handwritten notes. I promise it will be an incredible use of your time!
Give Volunteer Awards
My friend Casey played softball for two years. She was a catcher. The second year she played, the coach decided to give awards to every player. She says he gave out a handful of legitimate awards—best batting average, most strikeouts, most fly-balls caught. But she got “She never gives up and she never gets down,” which, in her words, was a way of saying “I wasn’t very good, but I smiled a lot.” She was honestly pleased with that award!
Superlatives can be a lot of fun! Come up with creative awards and hand them out during a huddle time or during a volunteer appreciation event.
Track Their Birthdays
Volunteers absolutely do not expect you to remember their birthdays – so remember them! Seriously. Write them a note about what you love about them and if you can afford it, give them a small gift. Do a little snooping and find out their Starbucks order and pick it up the morning they’re serving before or after their birthday. If they’re not a Starbucks person, pick up a book you think they’d like. You get the idea. It doesn’t need to be big. Even a small gift card will do.
Our volunteers are amazing! They’re not paid like many of us. They are there because they love these kiddos. Let’s make sure they know how much you appreciate them!