Volunteers are so wonderful as they give of their time and we all know, time is money. When doing the calculations the other day, $24.14 is the value for each volunteer hour (independentsector.org). A person I know who coaches football is donating over $6000 worth of time to a local high school. He feels good about giving of his time and doesn’t ask for anything in return.
There are times when a volunteer feels unappreciated by the organization they spend most of their free time with even though they don’t expect anything in return. This is not something the organization does knowingly but it does happen.
People tend to misunderstand volunteers. They believe them to be retired, and people who have a lot of time on their hands.
How you appreciate volunteers is key:
- Send random messages to let them know you appreciate their service
- Put together a special appreciation activity for only those who give of their time – this can be a special breakfast or lunch your staff/clients help to prepare
- Acknowledge a volunteer’s service in press releases, advertising, newsletters, and on social media (with their approval)
- Invite volunteers to accompany you to special events at no-cost to them
A volunteer has a busy life and they are passionate about causes, hopefully yours! They lead others and know how to build relationships. They have a willingness to try new things, a bit of a risk taker. And best of all, they will stay in touch and communicate. Finding the right volunteer and keeping them motivated takes some skill and attention to detail.
Gayle Gross, an avid volunteer before becoming a “paid volunteer” to sit on non-profit boards, is a published author and business advocate for increasing market share. Volunteers help an organization make big strides in achieving great things.