Wednesday, 6 May 2015

@WildApricot - Highlighting their Volunteer Appreciation Guide

Wild Apricot, a web-based software for small associations and non-profits to help manage membership, website, events and other activities, spend a lot of time on their blog talking about volunteering.  As we all know, most associations rely heavily on their volunteers to ensure that special programs, events, and other initiatives go off "without a hitch".

When searching for articles to reference for a blog on showing appreciation to your volunteers, I came across their Volunteer Appreciation Guide, and frankly, it hit the mark by talking about everything I was going to.  So instead of re-inventing the wheel, I thought I would showcase some highlights:

Why Do People Volunteer:

  • to make a contribution to the community - 93%
  • to use their skills and experiences - 78%
  • personally affected by the organization’s cause - 59%
  • to explore one’s own strengths - 48%
  • to network with or meet people - 46%
  • because their friends volunteer - 48%
  • to improve job opportunities - 22%
  • to fulfill religious obligations or beliefs - 21%

Volunteer recognition best practices

Make it a priority. Recognizing the work of volunteers is crucial for any organization that wants to retain its volunteers and attract new ones. Designate someone in your organization to be responsible for ensuring that ongoing recognition of volunteers takes place.

Do it often. Recognition of volunteers should happen on a year-round, frequent and informal basis. Begin by saying “thank you” often!

Do it in different ways. Vary your recognition efforts, from the informal thank you and spontaneous treats to more formal events. Here are some examples:

Be sincere. Make each occasion to recognize volunteers meaningful and an opportunity to reflect on the value volunteers bring to your organization.

Recognize the person, not the work. It’s best to phrase recognition to emphasize the contribution of the individual and not the end result. “You did a great job!” as opposed to “This is a great job!”

Want to read more?  Click here for the full article!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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