A fundraising event lives or dies based on the quality and quantity of your volunteers.The best, most successful events hinge on having a motivated and happy volunteer base. Since they are freely giving their time, you need to make sure they feel appreciated and cared for if you’re going to continue having successful events. So let’s dive into how you can make sure your volunteers will keep coming back year after year.
A gift can be a wonderful way to show your appreciation. Make sure you give the gift in person rather than mailing it. Gifts aren’t just physical items either. You can take your volunteers out to lunch after the event or show your Event Director appreciation by giving them a hotel night getaway with a restaurant gift certificate to help them rest and refresh after the stress of pulling off a successful event.
Not everyone appreciates gifts, however. (I realize this sounds like crazy talk to gift-lovers, but it’s still true.) Some volunteers feel appreciated with public recognition for all their hard work. Highlight and thank them at the awards ceremony or recognize them in your newsletter or website. Anything that shines a spotlight on their accomplishments in front of their peers will make these volunteers’ hearts glow.
Finally, no matter what a volunteer’s “thank you language,” it’s always a good idea to send them a heartfelt, handwritten card. It gives you the opportunity to let them know exactly what they mean to you and your organization and personally thank them for all their hard work. While this might sound quaint, you will be shocked at how much this little touch will stand out in a world overflowing with texts, tweets and “likes,” but sorely lacking in personalized messages.
Saying “thank you” is a simple, very powerful thing to do. It’s not only a small way to repay your volunteers, but also your best first step in convincing them to raise their hand again the next time you ask for volunteers.
Having a good volunteer base starts with having a motivated staff. Click below to watch our webinar on how to make sure your staff become your best brand ambassadors.