There are lots of tools you can use to retain your volunteers once you’ve found them and a key one is saying THANK YOU. These are probably the most important two words in any volunteer manager’s vocabulary!
You should be saying thank you regularly, rather than once a year during Volunteers Week, so why not start thinking now of how you could do this more often?
“You shouldn’t need an excuse to say thanks to your volunteers; indeed, it is often the thanks that comes out of the blue that has the most impact.
Conversely, there are certain occasions when a thank you might be expected, and therefore its absence creates an issue. “
The NCVO Members Quick Guide to Thanking Volunteers
Say THANK YOU to your volunteers as they leave at the end of the session they are helping with. Encourage staff who work with volunteers in your organisation to do the same. After all a THANK YOU doesn’t cost anything and will help the volunteer feel appreciated, and know you value the time they give to help.
Some volunteers don’t like a lot of fuss and would be embarrassed, whereas others like to be the centre of attention. You know your volunteers best but if you don’t, ask the person who looks after them when they are there and see what they think. A little research really helps making the THANK YOU more personal and genuine.
When you read surveys of why volunteers leave, one popular reason is not feeling valued or appreciated. You can easily rectify this with two little words, so get planning and say
T H A N K Y O U