How do we appreciate work? Good manners, that's how we'd assume we would show our appreciation. In the community & volunteering sector, thanking people is embedded in our work. A simple, "thanks" doesn't always cut it when we say this so often.


This is a digital world, and it is more important than ever to find ways to express our gratitude in ways that are personal and impactful. 

You may be organising end-of-year events where you're thanking contributors, staff, volunteers, board members etc. Below are strategies we can use to more effectively portray appreciation to stakeholders:

1. Be there in person

Look your supporters in the eye, and thank them. It's simple and meaningful. No amount of appreciation letters can make up for a simple face-to-face recognition of their efforts.

2. Be personal

Personalised feedback is infinitely more effective than general all-rounding statements of thanks. In non-profit volunteering, volunteers need to know how that their work is making an impact for the cause. Analyse the impacts that each volunteer makes, and highlight how they contributed to the mission at hand. Provide them with a relatable evidence to show that their work impacted individual people.

3. Create meaningful symbols

Providing gifts to your volunteers is an amazing way to show appreciation. Meaningful ones are even better. Forbes suggested a few that could be significantly practical to the volunteers, as well as long-lasting and purposeful:

• A small notebook with your organization’s logo and thank you signatures from your staff on the cover interior.
• A framed photo of your mission being brought to life.
• A letter of appreciation from your executive director or an endorsement on LinkedIn or social media.
• Notepads with a volunteer message such as, “I am helping give 7,000 children a better future” or “I helped make sure 100 families were safe” with your organization’s logo.
• Digital playlists of inspirational songs curated by individuals your nonprofit serves.
• A practical office tool that serves as a daily reminder of your work, such as a business card holder or desk clock.
Remember, non-profits are only as strong as their supporters.



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