Seen, Heard & Loved: 3 Approaches to Thanking Volunteers

Posted on

Seen, Heard & Loved: 3 Approaches to Thanking Volunteers

by Stephanie Flores de Valgaz

Have you ever stopped to consider the value of volunteers in economic terms? It is estimated that the value of their time alone is over $200 billion annually. The reasons individuals volunteer vary, but no matter the reason, they are giving their most precious non-renewable resource, their time.

So how can nonprofits show their appreciation for such generosity? Let volunteers know they are seen, heard, and loved with these ideas.


See volunteers, see their time

  • Timely “thank-yous” can go a long way. If you can, thank volunteers during the course of their work, such as at an event. Follow up with a short text or email acknowledging their contribution.
  • Celebrate the years volunteers have dedicated to the organization. Whether it’s in the e-newsletter, a volunteer reception, or even on their volunteer nametags, let them know their years of service have not gone unnoticed.


Provide opportunities for volunteers to be heard

  • Whether that is a post-event huddle or an online survey, giving volunteers a voice not only shows that you hear them, but can also provide the organization with invaluable insights and opportunities for improvement. NB: Make sure to communicate to your volunteers what the feedback outcomes are.
  • Give volunteers the mic! Invite volunteers to make a short video to share why they contribute their time to the organization. Share those videos via social media channels and be sure to share them with supporters.


Show volunteers some love

  • A hand-written thank-you note is a treasured gift in our digital age. Prefer digital? Give volunteers a personalized shout-out via social media channels or even send personalized videos for an impactful thank-you.
  • Snacks, anyone? At early morning or longer events, provide coffee, granola bars, or other food items for your volunteers. There is a woman with dark brown hair and green shirt stands next to another woman with auburn hair. She is wearing a dress and is holding a certificate of volunteer excellence in her hand
  • Make volunteers the VIPs. Host a thank-you reception to highlight the contributions of volunteers and share a few heartwarming stories.


The CapDev team has a long-standing history of volunteering, and we know that taking the time to thank volunteers is the kind thing to do and it’s also an investment in perhaps the most valuable resource of all – people. Make sure you do it often, when in doubt, keep it simple!

Return to Insights & Events