5 "Olympic" Tips of Volunteer Recognition
The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off this week, bringing the world together with the universal notion that hard work and determination knows no bounds. Is the same not true for volunteering? Are volunteers not people uniting in commitment and dedication to a common goal – to serve others? Recognize your medal winning, record-setting volunteers with these five fun, Olympic-sized appreciation tips!
1. Honor Your "Coaches": Volunteer management is a full-time job that oftentimes falls beneath the radar. Take the time to honor those leaders behind the scenes who are managing schedules, organizing volunteer calendars, and serving their time and energy to train volunteers with the necessary skills they need to get the job done and make a difference; they are the ones who carry the torch and light they way for future leaders and advocates of your cause!
2. Recognize Your "Medal Winners": While volunteering does not have to be competitive, it is still a worthy endeavor to recognize those exceptional members in service who repeatedly show up, help out, and provide a dependable service to your organization. Put your stellar volunteers on a podium of recognition and let them know how much they are appreciated!
3. Show Your Fans Appreciation: Don't forget to thank the donors and advocates whose faces may not be visible at your events, but whose donations, resources and sponsorship make the good that your organization does possible!
4. Celebrate Your Record Breakers: Keep track and celebrate those milestone events that capture the life of your organization! Utilize digital platforms and local news outlets to honor long-time volunteers and donors who have completed years of service, as well as share remarkable measurements of the impact your volunteers have had in the community, i.e. # of books given to local schools, # of food boxes packed, # of meals served.
5. Every Little Bit Counts: The excitement of the Olympics lies greatly in the inches and hundredths of seconds which separate first from second, and second from third place. Keep the small things in mind when showing your volunteers appreciation. The simplest act of kindness, from a hand-written thank you note, to an email, shout out on facebook, or phone call can make a big impact on a volunteer, letting them know their efforts are truly appreciated and and their help made a difference.
As your volunteer group continues to make a difference for the better in your own school, community or even the world, take the time to recognize their efforts, celebrate their achievements and honor them as Olympians in service! As anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
You may also like:
Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net