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ASK CONNIE

VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~2012 ~

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Dear Connie:

I recently went to a local networking meeting of volunteer resource managers.  The topic of discussion was volunteer appreciation.  The presenters were from a large government organization with lots of money and resources.  They were giving their volunteers all kinds of wonderful things like books and jewelry and paintings for hours of service.  I left thinking, “That’s cool, but we’re struggling to stay open and we don’t have the money to give away large things like that.”  I want to find a nice way of saying thanks to all of our organization’s wonderful volunteers, but I have a really small budget to do that.  Aside from verbally thanking volunteers for their work, what do you suggest?

MM

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Dear MM:

In my experience it's easy to provide appropriate recognition in inexpensive ways.  When I was actively managing volunteers, I used to always be on the lookout for inexpensive little items that I could tie to a theme.  For example, one year during National Volunteer Week I gave volunteers a small packet of blank notes that I wrapped with ribbon.  My card to them said, "Thanks for being a noteworthy volunteer!"  Another year I gave them little table tops and said, "Thanks for being a top volunteer!"  Other easy and inexpensive ideas include:

* Birthday cards to individuals
* Birthday parties every month for individuals born that month
* A volunteer of the year award based on an established point system or on nominations
* An annual luncheon, dinner, and/or party to say thank you to all volunteers
* Notices in the newsletter about special accomplishments by volunteers (names in boldface)certificate with bee
* Pictures on the office bulletin board of volunteers in action
* Individual recognition on a Facebook posting or a Tweet
* Something fun during National Volunteer Week (April 21-27, 2013)

Check these Web sites for more information and resources on volunteer recognition:

 


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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
314 E. Marie Dr. * Stillwater, OK 74075 * VOICE: 405.372.8142 or 202-306-1492


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