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3 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips for Showing Gratitude to Volunteers

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (if you’re in the United States). For me, this means hanging out with family (and Otis), eating lots of chocolate pecan pie, and taking a long nap.

But it also means being thankful.

The same is true for your nonprofit. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to express gratitude for your staff, donors, and volunteers.

Here are three last-minute tips:

1. Thank Your Core Volunteers

If you haven’t done so yet, schedule a thank-you email for volunteers, set to send on Thanksgiving Day.

The purpose of this email is to express your sincere gratitude for all the time that they’ve spent supporting your organization throughout the year.

Don’t ask them to sign up for more volunteer opportunities, and don’t ask them to make a donation. Just say “thanks.”  Yes, feel free to link to a social media post thanking volunteers (see tip #2 below), but keep your focus on expressing gratitude.

Keep your email message short and sweet. Remember, volunteers will be spending time with their friends and family, too.

2. Create Gratitude Posts with Canva

If you haven’t used Canva, now is a perfect opportunity to check it out.

Canva allows you to quickly create visual content that is optimized for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. There are many templates to choose from and a massive database of royalty-free photos you can use for your posts (premium images and elements cost $1 each).

Create a visual post for each of your social media sites and schedule them for Thanksgiving Day.

3. Post a Short Thank You Video to YouTube

Many smart phones now allow you take high-quality video. Take 30 seconds out of your day to create a sincere “thank you” message for volunteers. Don’t go for perfection. Just be yourself, expressing sincere appreciation for your volunteers.

Once you take this video, crop off any unnecessary footage at the beginning and end. If it’s 30 seconds (perfect length), you can post it to YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest directly from your smart phone.

Lastly, have fun and enjoy yourself. It’s Thanksgiving.

Headshot of John Haydon

About John Haydon

John Haydon advises nonprofits on marketing strategy and the effective use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. He is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, a regular contributor to Social Media Examiner and the Huffington Post, and an instructor for Charityhowto. Connect with John on Twitter at @JohnHaydon.

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