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Volunteer Appreciation – More Important Than Ever!

March 26, 2021

We know that volunteers have a huge impact on our heritage organizations (no really, we do know because we did a study of it last year. Check out the results here). Due to social distancing, state guidelines, and risk of infection, engaging volunteers has been incredibly hard for many heritage organizations this year. With 2021 National Volunteer Week approaching April 18-24 we have got you covered on ways to appreciate your awesome volunteers!

Volunteer Appreciation Language Template – Direct Thank You to Volunteers:

Dear (name of awesome volunteer):

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and we can’t say enough how much the time and effort you give helps us succeed. This year has challenged us in many ways but your constant support, enthusiasm, and ability to adapt has helped us keep moving in this ever changing world. From following the state guidelines to keep all of us and our visitors safe, to doing projects from home, to collecting stories of history happening now, to helping us plan our reopening, every hour, every minute—makes a difference. 

And it’s more than that. Your volunteer work supports our community’s identity. Heritage organizations like ours help community members remember and learn from the past. They provide spaces for reflection and critical thinking about our future. They make vibrant communities.

Thank you for your contribution to us and the community and we look forward to seeing you soon!

(If you can include a personal note for each volunteer, even better!)

Volunteer Appreciation Language Template -Social Media Post Template:

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week! Join us in thanking our dedicated volunteers!

Volunteers provided _(total hours)__ hours of service to our organization this year.
Volunteers allowed us to serve_(insert number)_of virtual visitors through our online exhibits and programs!
We’re proud of the major projects our volunteers helped us accomplish: ______________.

We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. Help us thank our heritage heroes in the comments below!  

Volunteer Appreciation Ideas During Social Distancing

  1. Write and mail a thank you letter.
    1. Add a gift.
      1. Lifesavers – “You are a lifesaver!”
      2. Mints – “You mean a mint to us!”
      3. Chocolate Coins – “Your work is solid gold!”
      4. Gummy Bears – “We can’t bear to be without you!”
      5. Coffee Packet –” You keep us going! You keep it perky!”
      6. Fortune Cookie – “You are our good fortune!”
  1. Do a drive by and hang a sign at their house.
  2. Alternatively, have a reverse parade and have your volunteers drive by to get an appreciation card and/or gift.
  3. Share with the world. Tell the number of volunteers and hours of work, and where appropriate and with permission list them individually.
    1. Newsletter announcement
    2. Social media post a thanks
    3. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper
    4. Put a big thank you sign on your window
  4. Have an awards program
    1. Mail the award
    2. Feature individual stories in newsletter and social media
    3. Hold an online ceremony – in formal gear and all to make it fancy!

For some long term volunteer appreciation planning, don’t forget to submit nominations for local, state, and national awards, like the Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards and the Excellence on Main Awards.

Additional Volunteer Resources

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