Friday, April 10, 2015

Thank You! Bless You! YOU ROCK!

This week is National Volunteer Week, a special time to celebrate the service our volunteers provide. It is a good practice to thank volunteers at every meeting and given the occasion, let's consider doing something a little extra to recognize their contributions at the next chapter meeting, newsletter edition or with a special message or group volunteer photo on Facebook.

Volunteers give their time freely without the expectation of a reward.  However if they feel their efforts are truly appreciated, that can go a very long way in motivating them to do more or to continue longer in the job.

Thank them personally. Nothing beats a simple thank you for a job well done from a chapter leader.  It demonstrates you understand all they are doing. You cannot say it often enough to a contributing volunteer.

Thank them publicly. Every chapter meeting should have a moment to thank all the volunteers, as well as anyone else who has contributed to the meeting such as the CART provider or speaker.  The simple gesture of having the volunteers stand while you mention their name and contribution if you received a special thank you about one of your volunteers from someone, share it with all the attendees.

Acknowledge their contributions in-group discussions.When meeting attendees bring up something they like about the chapter, from consistently great speakers to tasty refreshments, make sure the person knows who is responsible and be sure to pass the comment on to the volunteer.  Better yet, bring the volunteer over to hear it first hand.

Recognize long-term contributions. Any long term volunteer deserves special recognition. Track how long volunteers have been doing a job, and every anniversary should be recognized and major ones celebrated. Anyone who retires after making a difference for any meaningful period of time should be paid tribute.

How an organization treats its current volunteers is one of the biggest factors in motivating new volunteers to step forward. John F. Kennedy said it best, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them".

We close with a very special thank you to all the chapter leaders for taking the extra effort to support others. Bless you for all you do for your membership and community. YOU ROCK!

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