What’s better than a happy, appreciated volunteer? More volunteers! In preparation for Volunteer Appreciation Week, here are some great ideas that will help you not only show your appreciation for your school’s volunteers, but also attract new volunteers into your pipeline.
Publicize volunteer stories
Volunteers positively affect the lives of your students every day. Many of those stories aren’t told, to the detriment of all.
Reserve a space on your website for regular stories on how volunteers have improved the outcomes of students. It can be a weekly or monthly story, depending on your manpower. Not only does that help recognize your current volunteers, but they will also be encouraged to share the story around their social networks, which might generate some interest in volunteering from their friends and associates.
Make volunteer breakfast/luncheon “+1”
Often, schools will host a volunteer appreciation breakfast or lunch, but the volunteers aren’t told that they can bring someone. Budget a little extra money for food and make the event “+1”. Volunteers will often bring a friend or co-worker. If they see how well you treat your volunteers, maybe they can be enticed to join the fold themselves.
Send an award to their work
Perhaps you give your volunteers awards at the end of the school year. Rather than just handing them out during the volunteer gathering, send an announcement to the volunteer’s place of employment. The worst case is that it gets put into the volunteer’s file for review time. The best case is that they mention the award in their company newsletter or email, which might get other employees interested in volunteering.
Involve the press
Newspapers and television programs are always looking for positive stories. Make sure you send out a press release before your volunteer gathering that highlights the impact your volunteers have on your students. If they choose to cover your story, you’ve just reached thousands of other potential volunteers.