November–the month we focus on gratitude. Use this month to let your volunteers know how thankful you are for them!
Personal — While formal appreciation events are important, they don’t take the place of the face-to-face ways we say “We couldn’t do it without you!” These are often low-cost, quick, and heart-touching expressions of our love and appreciation. The pack of gum with a note that says, “Thanks for sticking with us,” a “World’s Greatest Helper” ribbon, and a reserved parking space for the “Teacher of the Week” are simple ways to communicate value.
Powerful — A generic form letter thanking everyone for helping with vacation Bible school is well-meaning, but it doesn’t have much impact. Appreciation needs to have a certain “wow” effect. Powerful appreciation is personal, sincere, and timely. Don’t delay in your response. A thank you note received three months after the event loses its effectiveness.
Plentiful –People need to be reminded over and over that their time and ministry matters. They matter to God, to your church, to you! When we limit our appreciation efforts to an annual event, it lessens the impact. Don’t get me wrong; an annual volunteer recognition program serves a great purpose, but it doesn’t take the place of continuous praise and ongoing affirmation.