Sometimes a simple “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough.

Sure, volunteers like to hear the words, “thank you.” (Most volunteers aren’t expecting more than that.) But when volunteer coordinators go above and beyond to show gratitude, it can really mean a lot.

Read on to learn ideas for thanking volunteers.

Start With a Personal Touch

Especially among event-focused organizations, there can sometimes be a disconnect between event organizers and the volunteers. It can be overwhelming just to think about all of the moving parts.

If your organization is large and uses a lot of volunteers, make it a goal to learn three new names a week. Acknowledge their achievements and call them by name in your newsletter. Post congratulatory notes in the office, and write a special thank you note once a week to let someone know he or she is on your mind. This is a great way to make thanking volunteers the foundation.

Also, using a tool like VolunteerHub can help personalize the volunteer experience by sending customized thank you and event reminder emails.

Thanking Volunteers with Free Food Can Build Rapport

Sure, free food can be good. Who doesn’t love chowing down on donuts and drinking coffee while chatting with co-volunteers?

Sharing a meal makes experiences more memorable and gives lasting positive impressions. Treating volunteers to complimentary snacks doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it does help build camaraderie and makes them feel appreciated. Just make sure that you take the opportunity to thank everyone at the meal. When else can you get all those volunteers in one room?

Commemorate Special Dates

Acknowledging birthdays or anniversaries of service can also go a long way. Having a master calendar with reminders built in will take a lot of the guesswork out of remembering the days. (Or you could run a report from VolunteerHub on a pre-defined basis).

Posting a flier in the office with the month’s special days is a nice touch. Include the dates on emails or newsletters to encourage other volunteers to share in observing each other’s special days.


Your volunteers have chosen to support your organization for a reason. They likely have strong loyalty to your mission.

A gift of a shirt, bag, pen, or notepad that features your logo is a great way to show appreciation and reinforce your branding. Give gifts at your Christmas party, anniversary of service with the group, or after a special accomplishment. Volunteers will enjoy the gift and feel special.

No matter how you say it, “thank you” means a lot to your volunteers. Start looking for creative ways to slip in more gratitude today!

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