rewarding your volunteers

Many say that the reward for volunteers is in the volunteering itself. While this may be true, it is a good idea to find others ways of letting volunteers know that they are appreciated both publicly and privately.

Rewarding volunteers is all about retention!  If you want to have volunteers to reward, you have to engage them first.  A few things to consider are:

– Be sure to let your volunteers know you appreciate them.  This is not the same as rewarding them.  You need to let them know they are respected and appreciated on an ongoing basis.

– Offer them meaningful volunteer opportunities.  Volunteers need to care about what they are doing and you should keep them engaged by offering different activities.

Constant communication.  Never leave your volunteers out there wondering what is going on. Even if you don’t have an upcoming event, you can stay in touch by sharing stories and updating them on your organization’s impact.

Now, when it comes to rewarding your volunteers there are a few things to consider.

First and foremost: NOT EVERYONE LIKES TO BE REWARDED IN THE SAME WAY. Though we know this, we don’t always take this into account.

Maybe as part of a volunteer application, you ask how they like to be rewarded. Some may want a thank you card, others like the incentivized rewards where if you raise X number of dollars you receive gifts at different levels, while still others may prefer a low-key gathering like a cookout where volunteers can invite friends and family…

Regardless, here’s a list of a few places that offer some interesting ideas for rewarding your hard-working volunteers:

txtMovies offers a way for you to give your volunteers a free movie ticket when they respond to a post event survey.  This way you are getting valuable feedback and giving a reward as well.

DIY enthusiasts should check out Pinterest for amazing volunteer appreciation ideas. The handmade approach always makes volunteers feel like you went that extra step.

VolunteerGifts.com has been helping nonprofit organizations since 1995.  Offering hundreds of items to suit any need, they promise to meet or beat anyone’s prices.

Whichever route you decide to go, just be sure you say “Thank You” honestly and often.  Your volunteers help to make your mission a reality.  Without them, your vision goes nowhere.

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