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Non-Profit Organizations Find Ways to Thank Volunteers

Mar 10, 2008
Good volunteers are hard to find. For all the good intentions of most of them, it's rare to find ones who really throw themselves into the cause and go above and beyond expectations. However without a little acknowledgement from the organization, volunteers can feel taken for granted and get burned out. Here are a few ways you can show how much you appreciate the people who work for you.

Say Thank You

This should go without saying, but it's surprising how many organizations forget this little bit of courtesy. This doesn't mean the off the cuff "thanks" that we all toss out without thinking. When a volunteer does something exceptional, take the time out to express your gratitude. This reminds both the volunteer and yourself how important this person's contributions are to the organization.

You can take it a step further and give them something material yet inexpensive. A handwritten note or card adds meaning to your gesture. E-cards are another free option that let you show your feelings toward your valuable workers.

Banquets

Arrange a party to show everyone how much you care. It gives everyone a chance to relax and have fun and doesn't have to be expensive. Schedule a pot luck or see if you can find an organization that can donate food or party supplies. Make decorations that reflect your organization's theme. For example, a charity that helps children might have pictures of the kids you've helped on the walls or at the tables.

There are lots of great themes that can make it feel like a real celebration and not just some boring company party. Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, indoor "beach" parties, 50s nostalgia or other fun ideas make it a fun event.

Recognition Awards

Although non-profit organizations are often looking for ways to save money, sometimes it's worth a few dollars to really make a statement about the value of your volunteers.

Engraved recognition awards give your special volunteer a keepsake they can treasure for years. You might choose a basic company award or spring for an elaborate crystal trophy. There are lots of affordable options out there.

Combine the last two ideas and present your recognition awards at a banquet in the recipient's honor. It doesn't have to be an elaborate affair but the volunteers will appreciate the extra step you take.

Whatever you choose to do, find some way to let your volunteers know how much they are worth to you. Even dedicated people may move on to organizations where they are more appreciated. Contrary to popular belief, volunteers aren't unpaid workers. They are employees who have chosen to accept compensation in less tangible forms such as job satisfaction and appreciation for their efforts.

Don't undervalue these members of your organization. Whether you opt for recognition awards or simple pats on the back, let them know how you really feel.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on recognition
awards
, visit http://www.Allstar-Awards.com/.
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