It's April and that means National Volunteer Week is just around the corner from April 18-24. In a time when so much is upside down, this is a good reason to reach out to your volunteers to show them how much they mean to you.
Thank your active volunteers today
Like all great managers, it is important to be sure to focus on your current, active volunteers. These are the people who have truly stuck with you through very tough times. They have shown their dedication and their commitment to your cause.
While you are strapped for time, think about a simple plan to thank them. Even something as simple as an email or a phone call can show that you have noticed and are appreciative of their hard work. While this may not be the perfect way to say "thanks," better to do something than nothing at all.
Don't forget your volunteers on leave
Maybe you have had to shut down your volunteer program. Maybe some of your volunteers have taken a leave of absence. Either way, you know that at some point in the future, you are going to wish you had plenty of volunteers. If you don't stay in touch, you risk those loyal volunteers moving onto other charities.
Even if volunteers aren't active with your charity now, it is still worthwhile to stay in touch with them. Not only will staying in touch with volunteers increase the chance they will return to volunteering with you in the future, it is worth remembering that giving and volunteering are closely related behaviours. By encouraging people to stay connected as volunteers, you will also do your fundraising a favour.
Strapped for time? Let Volunteer Canada resources help you
It's already close to the middle of April and to National Volunteer Week. Fortunately, Volunteer Canada has a great set of resources to help you. From online, printable greeting cards, to downloadable Zoom backgrounds, to a gift shop online, they have the tools you need to be able to thank your volunteers in a way that is meaningful, affordable, and simple to execute.
Charity staff are working harder than ever. While it can seem tough to add more one thing to your jam-packed "To do" list, good volunteer recognition will serve you and your charity today and help you build for a stronger future.
Ann Rosenfield is the Editor of Hilborn Charity eNews. She is a hands-on volunteer who hasn't been able to volunteer much recently.