The holiday season is in full swing. Thanksgiving is just a few days away. If you work for a nonprofit organization, then you already know this is one of the most demanding times of year. Your staff and volunteers may feel stretched for time as they try to help your organization help those in need. In fact, you may be recruiting extra volunteers to help your group get through the holiday season. For you, and the volunteers you recruit, working through the holiday season is not just a job. It is your chance to help make a difference in the world. The volunteers you work with are dedicated to providing services to as many people as possible. They give freely of their time to help improve the lives of those around them. And they do it for free.
According to a study by the Independent Sector, the estimated value of volunteer time for 2016 was $24.14 per hour. The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. And just as your organization recognizes donors for their generosity, your volunteers deserve recognition as well.
Studies have shown that when it comes to recognizing volunteers, it isn’t the cost of the recognition that matters, but the genuineness of the gesture that counts the most. Many volunteers work long hours through the holiday season because they know it makes a difference in their community. They push to help your organization deliver groceries to needy families, provide hot meals to the homeless, and package gifts for children who deserve a good Christmas. Sometimes they do it while ignoring their own hunger, fatigue, and yes, even their children. They don’t mind because they appreciate the opportunity to give back.
So how can you express genuine appreciation to your volunteers? How do you thank them for their countless hours of giving and motivate them to continue pushing through the long holiday hours? Here are a few creative ways Levy Recognition can help you recognize the people who keep your nonprofit organization running.
Show them you care. Thank your volunteers by providing each one with a customized care package from your organization. Fill it with snacks, goodies, and items that will remind your volunteers to take care of themselves and their families throughout the holidays.
Make it spontaneous. Catch your volunteers in the act of doing something exceptionally well. Use it as an opportunity to give an on-the-spot thank you. It can be a simple gift, or small prize. Use On-the-Spot Recognition Cards to make the moment even more special.
Host an appreciation event. At the end of the holiday season, invite your volunteers to attend a recognition banquet. Present each attendee with a custom award that shows your organization’s gratitude for everything they have done.
These are just a few ways to show your volunteers how much their time and efforts are appreciated by your organization. Remember, recognition should be frequent and appropriate for the amount of donated time, the volunteer’s age, longevity with your organization, and his or her unique personality. We have everything you need to keep your team of volunteers feeling motivated during the busiest part of the year.