DOVIA Central Mississippi

Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) – A Networking Group for Volunteer Management Professionals & Volunteers

11 Great (& FREE)
Volunteer Thank You Ideas

Your VP for Marketing Michele Baker has combed the internet for the best FREE ways to thank your volunteers. Here are her 11 favorites, ranked in order. (Watch for the email soon compiling all your great suggestions from the Oct. 21 meeting!)

11. Write LinkedIn endorsements for your top volunteers -- Similar to letters of recommendation, LinkedIn endorsements highlight specific skills the volunteer has shown and are public for future employers. Encourage your staff to endorse as well.

10. Spotlight a volunteer -- Use a hashtag (#volunteer and #volunteering are the top two on Instagram & Twitter) for blogs, e-newsletters, and on social media. Include a photo and give examples of how the volunteer has contributed to the org's charitable efforts. (Read a VolunteerMatch spotlight)

9. Create community -- Nurture a supportive, personal, and social atmosphere at the work site; assign newer volunteers an experienced mentor/buddy; host social events outside the office or via Zoom; create group chats or social media groups about your org's mission & vision. 

8. Post :30 volunteer "commercials" -- Ask multiple vols the same question, such as "Why do you volunteer here at CHARITY?" and then film their responses using your Smartphone. Post the clips on social media. Here are some Pinterest ads to get you started. (Remember to use hashtags such as #volunteer and #volunteering)

7. Give cards or letters from community clients and recipients -- The best appreciation comes from those your program served. Volunteers love to see that the work they do is making a difference to the lives of others. Invite community members to write a letter or hand craft a card to the volunteers who have made a difference. Sample language here.

6. Host a Zoom party with a local celebrity -- Invite a local celebrity who supports your charity and surprise your volunteers with a Zoom breakfast bash, lunchtime soiree, or Happy Hour. Give the celebrity stats or details about the volunteers. (OR, have the celebrity record a short thank you message to your volunteers and play it during the virtual party.)

5. Ask volunteers for suggestions & feedback -- Vols can provide fresh and honest insights into how well your program is doing. Listen with an open mind and whenever possible, recognize and implement their ideas.
"Thank You Volunteers" message created with Vimeo Record
4. Film a personal "thank you" video -- Vimeo offers a free Chrome browser extension/app allowing you to instantly record and link, embed, or email videos up to 120 minutes, and includes the option for screen sharing. Get Vimeo Record here.

3. Share a Smile(box) -- At every opportunity, take photos galore for use in the e-newsletter, on social media, and on your website. A free Smilebox account allows you to upload photos and make slideshows, e-cards, invitations, and more!  

2. Call and check in on them -- It's old school, but a quick phone call and a sincere Thank You still mean a lot. (After all, you did ask for their phone number!)

1. Remember to say "thank you" often -- The easiest and the most important thing you can do is say thank you regularly. Say it on their way into the office, out of the office, during a break, and whenever you remember. Make a habit of thanking your volunteers for their specific accomplishments, so they know you see every small action they make for your organization.

BONUS: Check out these great DOVIA resources, including the Expanded 101 Ways to Thank Volunteers!

Adapted from a blog post on Read the whole post here.

Next Meeting Includes Officer Elections

To submit a nomination for any office, send nominee's contact info (name, phone number, email) to Elections will be held at the November DOVIA meeting (in person or via Zoom) and/or by email. Learn more about DOVIA here

The current DOVIA officers are:
President: Stacy Crain (MS Toughest Kids Foundation)
VP for Membership: Elizabeth Coleman, CVA (Volunteer/Consultant)
VP for Programs: Dr. Sharon Griffin (MS Children’s Museum)
VP for Marketing: Michele Baker, CVA (Trainer/Consultant)
Treasurer: Dr. Fran Baker (Born Free of Mississippi)
Secretary: Tony Schnadelbach (2 Mississippi Museums)
November 2021
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