Wise up Wednesdays are back and to kick-start our regular good practice posts, we are going to look at how best to support and motivate your volunteers!
Remember the campaign a few years ago ‘A dog is for life, not just Christmas’? I feel this attitude should apply to volunteers too. If you are going to celebrate their achievements, don’t just do it in Volunteers Week. You need to invest your time and energy into making every single one of them feel they are amazing! It’s important to treat them all equally and fairly, even if it’s a challenge at times.
Making volunteers feel valued is so important. The feelgood factor from volunteering will soon disappear if a volunteer doesn’t feel like their efforts are appreciated, or their views are ignored.
Let’s make sure we tell our volunteers how wonderful they are at every opportunity and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.
Say Thank You – it’s not rocket science and it makes volunteers feel their efforts are appreciated.
Give them a certificate – you can create something yourself to keep the costs down and don’t forget that we give away free Valued Volunteer Certificates every year, to any volunteer-involving group in the Dudley borough.
Hold a volunteer celebration – it need not cost a fortune, we aren’t talking about meals in fancy restaurants [although that would be a nice treat], you can still make people feel special without blowing the budget. You could hold an informal gathering with tea and cake, do a pot-luck supper, where everyone brings a dish, the list is endless. All you need is a little imagination and if you are struggling, why not ask your wonderful volunteers for ideas?
Nominate them for an award – there are local and national awards out there for volunteers. Here in Dudley borough you’ve got plenty of choice. There are Dudley Volunteer Awards which open for nominations each June [in Volunteers Week] and are presented in October, where every single nominee gets invited along to the ceremony. In addition, the Mayor’s Civic Awards are also launched in January each year.
Make the most of Volunteers Week – which is a national celebration of volunteering and takes place every year from 1-7 June. Why not visit their webpage for more info, ideas and a free pack of hints and tips on how to celebrate your volunteers’ contributions. http://volunteersweek.org/ You could hold your event or present your certificates during Volunteers Week, along with thousands of other groups across the country.
here’s our guide to recognising volunteers – which will give you lots of hints and tips on how to make those lovely volunteers feel appreciated.
A volunteer is for life not just Volunteers Week