Did you know that April 18-24 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week? Between room parents, PTA and PTO leaders, field trip chaperones, sports support, boosters, event chairs, etc., volunteers play an important and extremely impactful role in the K-12 education ecosystem. Recognizing them is key to making sure they feel appreciated. Public recognition also has the benefit of sharing what volunteers do in your organization in case others are interested in helping. Here are some of our favorite ways to say “thank you” on any budget.
Thanking School Volunteers
Personalized Card: This one is pretty straightforward – you can go to the store and pick up some thank you cards. When writing them, mention any specific impact that the person, or the event, had on the school community. If you want to go green, use an e-card; here is one of my favorite free thank-you card sites. They have no affiliation with us, but I think they have cool designs and are very easy to send.
Spotlight: Whether on social media or the school marquee, make the most of volunteer week by highlighting one volunteer daily. Whether you say “thank you” or write a few sentences about their impact, seeing their name “in lights” can make someone feel special. If you leverage social media for this, I will encourage listing how the person volunteered, as it is a chance to share with others how they can participate in the future. Here is a great template to create an image for any social platform.
Thank You Call: Do people even talk by phone anymore? Receiving a thank you phone call is less typical, so this idea makes a list. You can create a list of all the volunteers and divide it among the leaders to lessen the impact. Make sure that each leader has 1-2 bullet points explaining the activity the person was involved in and the impact of that activity. The call can take 2-3 minutes, but the personal touch will be much appreciated. Don’t be afraid to leave a voicemail if the person doesn’t answer.
Thank You Certificate: Everyone likes to be officially recognized for their work, and giving certificates to volunteers who went above and beyond is a nice way to commemorate their work. A certificate or plaque can be listed on someone’s resume, used as proof of their community service with employers, and/or just displayed with pride. It is also a pretty light lift for school leaders. We have an embedded image below, but here is the original link in case you have trouble with the image.
You can use one or all of these volunteer appreciation suggestions at any time but make sure to send a quick thank you, even if just a quick social post, to all of those that help your organizations run throughout the year. If you have other ideas, send them our way.