People who volunteer do so willingly, fully aware that whilst it may be without financial gain, it’s rewarding in so many other ways. Unable to offer monetary benefits, people usually see it as a way to give something back to the community or make a difference.
Yet, should there be an occasion where a volunteer is unable to continue giving their time for free, because they need regular income to cover financial commitments, here are some ways in which you can show your appreciation, in the hope that they may stay on and reduce their hours, rather than leave all-together.
The Bigger Picture
A perspective can be given to the lovely people who devote their time to your charity. Sometimes volunteers can be given some particularly mundane tasks, which can be seen as tedious. No matter what they are doing, reassure them that whatever the task, it matters and that there is always a larger context. Little gestures can show you that you respect them and appreciate what they are doing and why they are doing it. This could be anything from a tasty treat to introducing an employee reward scheme where people are recognised for their commitment to the cause.
Check in With Them
You should keep your volunteers happy and keep checking in with them to make sure morale remains high. If they look tired, give them a break, or if they look bored maybe give them an alternative job for a while. This is especially the case when they are working on their own, in a backroom or storage area. Providing snacks is something to consider, as it can keep their energy up and it shows that you care too!
Small Tokens of Gratitude
Whether this be making a cup of coffee for your volunteer, to treating them to l lunch one day, these small gestures can make the world of difference and make them feel more appreciated. It might even give them more motivation to work. Reaching out to the stores within your community is a great idea as you never know, you could get things for free or discounted, if you explain what it’s for.
After they’ve Volunteered
If you want to want to go all out and secure national recognition for outstanding service, you could consider entering them into award such as ‘The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ or ‘The British Citizen Award’. It’s important to bear in mind that there are UK-wide, so they will face tough competition from across the country, but if you feel their contribution is worthy, then go for it! On a smaller scale, another gesture which can make a big difference is to feature them on your website, blog or social media platform(s).
Take time with your volunteers and get to know them – a small interview featured on your chosen platform can both help them in securing future jobs and also assist with your volunteer recruitment. Finally, you could send a helper a small thank you card.
With minimal effort, you can make them feel extremely appreciated. In this technological age, a handwritten card can be a novelty and shows that you have made effort to show gratitude. Personalising the message and can also earn bonus points.