Make It Personal

Avoid the generic “thanks to everyone who helped.” Express your appreciation in ways that acknowledge specific people and contributions.

Adjust Your Mindset

You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to organize an appreciation effort. In fact, volunteer appreciation works best as an ongoing effort rather than a single big event.

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Keep It Simple

Showing appreciation doesn't have to be elaborate. Even a sincere text message can make someone's day.

Praise Volunteers to Each Other

Rumors travel, but so does good news. Talk up your volunteers to each other and mention their contributions during meetings.

Give a Little Gift

There are lots of easy gifts you can put together that don’t cost a lot or take a lot of time. (You’ll find ideas and downloadable gift tags on the Volunteer Appreciation File Exchange.)

Make It Fun

There’s nothing like a party to lift people’s spirits. Even a simple event like a breakfast with coffee, pastries, and some decorations can really help boost morale. Or take things up a notch by holding a fun ceremony that recognizes helpers in humorous —"volunteer whose kids napped the most in the office," for example.

Thank Everyone Equally

Don’t limit your appreciation only to the hard-core volunteers. In fact, thanking those who’ve helped on a more occasional basis can be a great incentive for them to come back.

Go Public With Your Praise

Publicly thank helpers at your meetings, in your newsletters, and on your social channels. Let the principal know about individual volunteers' contributions, and encourage her to express her thanks independently.