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.
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 lots of ideas and downloadable gift tags in 32 Ideas for Volunteer Appreciation.)
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.
Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly.