Money & Business

We Asked, You Answered: How You Thank Your Volunteers

By / Apr 29, 2021 (KittiBakai/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

National Volunteer Week was April 18-24, so we wanted to know how associations thanked their members who had answered calls for help. It turns out, associations get creative, providing everything from shoutouts to discounts to show their gratitude.

Volunteers who lend their time, intelligence, and energy help associations work better and provide more for their stakeholders. Earlier this month, during National Volunteer Work (April 18-24), organizations spent time showing their volunteers how much they were truly appreciated.

We asked association execs how they were showing or planned to show their volunteers gratitude and got an array of responses. Some send gifts, others offer shoutouts on social media, and still others share video greetings. Read on to the count the ways that associations show love to their volunteers.

Mike Chamberlain

CEO, Grant Professionals Association

Every year we select a unique item to send to all of our members who volunteer with us in any capacity. This year, we sent them a mask with the GPA logo and a note of thanks from the GPA staff. We also post our thanks on our social media channels.

Nicole Larson, CAE

Associate Director, Volunteer Relations, Association of Legal Administrators

The Friday prior to National Volunteer Week, ALA deployed a personalized message to all of its volunteers thanking them for their time, energy, and dedication to the organization. This message also included an electronic volunteer badge, which individuals could use in their signature blocks and/or social media channels, and a discount code to the ALA logo shop. In addition, ALA’s Executive Director April Campbell recorded a video message of thanks and appreciation that was shared with the entire membership.

Marty Tatman

Director of Member Engagement, American Farm Bureau Federation

We took a department photo with everyone holding up “Thank You” signs. We sent that to them along with a thank you email from our president. Later in the week, they will receive an Amazon gift card.

Caitlin Myers

Membership Associate, Independent Educational Consultants Association

We put together a fun social event where they can enjoy an evening together, and we are sending them each a gift from the association.

Alexandra Bradley

Director of Communications and Engagement, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

Using the Gather Voices platform, we solicited videos from our volunteers, sharing why they volunteer, as well as videos from our board of governors thanking volunteers for their commitment to the organization. We will be sharing the volunteer videos throughout the week on social media and using the board videos for a vlog post, as well as splicing them together for a video to feature at the end of the week. We will also use the volunteer videos as part of the marketing campaign for the call for volunteers later this year.

Annie Storey, CAE

Executive Director, Illinois Section American Water Works Association

This year, our social media posts feature photos of our members in the last year—from our committees providing education via Zoom to the volunteers who distributed cloth masks around the state to our members. Staff also signed handwritten postcards that will be sent to our volunteers.

Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is an associate editor at Associations Now. She covers money and business. Email her with story ideas or news tips. More »

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