Author: Adrianne DuMond
Executive Coaches of Orange County
My Executive Coach colleague, Robin Noah, wrote a very informative article about designing a volunteer management system for this blog on September 17, 2010. It included the how to’s of selection, training, and recognition of volunteers. I want to talk about how important it is to give praise and recognition to those people who give of their time, talents, and money as a volunteer.
I have a friend who gives $1500 a year to a well known non-profit. He doesn’t serve on the Board, but supports the ideals, anyway, with his money. Each year, he is taken to lunch by the Director of Fund Development as a way to say thank you. He never forgets to tell me how important that gesture is.
Another friend sits on a non-profit Board, and gives $2500 a year – a requirement for Board participation. Requiring a yearly donation from Board members is a good idea. It proves they have “some skin in the game” and are really committed. But this friend only receives the obligatory letter of acceptance (for the IRS) and often comments on the lack of appreciation from the agency.
I think you can guess which friend will continue as long as possible to give online casino and support his/her agency. But it is not only money that should reap recognition. If you have volunteers doing the most menial of tasks, they are there because they believe in your cause. Executive Directors should see this as one of their most important jobs. If they can’t find the time, assign it to someone who can write thank you’s, make calls of appreciation – especially call-backs to those interested in your agency and the good it provides.
How to say thank you
I have another friend, an Executive Director, who faithfully creates little ways to recognize her supporters. She may pass out a flower, a small box of Truffles, an ornament from her travels, a pen or notepad with the agency’s logo or name, or a bookmark. It’s not the value that counts, but the thought. Share with me what kinds of thanking you do.