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 show your appreciation for your school’s volunteers.
Publicize volunteer stories
Volunteers positively affect the lives of your students every day. More of those stories need to be told.
Reserve a space on your website for regular stories on how volunteers have improved outcomes for students. It can be a weekly or monthly story. Not only does that help recognize your current volunteers, but they will also be encouraged to share the story around their social networks, which could generate some interest in volunteering from friends and associates.
Make volunteer breakfast/luncheon a +1
Often, schools will host a volunteer appreciation breakfast or lunch. Budget a little extra money for food and make the event a +1. Volunteers will often bring a friend or co-worker. If they see how well you treat your volunteers, maybe they’ll 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. Worst case is that it gets put into the volunteer’s file for review time. Best case, 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 students. If they choose to cover your story, you’ve just reached thousands of potential volunteers.