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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?


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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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