Have you said “Thank-you” to anyone recently? If you did say it, did your thank-you message help inspire your volunteer, champion, or donor to support your organization for another year? Have you ever considered that a luke-warm or underwhelming thank-you can help turn an important relationship cold?
Now, you may think that Volunteer Victoria has lost the plot and that we are making a ‘thank-you’ mountain out of a ‘volunteers and donors already know that they are appreciated’ mole hill. But, ‘thank-you’ practices have changed over the years and with new technology, personality type and demographic groups respond differently to themes, delivery methods, and content, and your ‘thank-you’ may be compared from year to year or to those received from other groups and organizations.
Thanks to those who know, we have some thank-you advice to share: A warm, timely, and personal ‘thank-you’ (delivered by e-mail, letter, in-person, or via a phone call) helps contributors feel seen and valued. A memorable message that leaves a positive impression connects the recipient emotionally and reduces the chance that they feel like just one of many who won’t be missed if they stop making a contribution of time or resources.
Always thank before you bank. A pre-printed bulk thank you note leaves a similar impression to bulk e-mail – and it isn’t necessarily the good impression you need to make. And finally, consider the recipient’s needs and preferences and ask them how they want to be thanked.Volunteer Appreciation Week is just around the corner, (April 15 to 21, 2012) so if you need additional inspiration and ideas please visit http://nationalvolunteerweek.ca/
Thank-you for taking the time to thank others whereever, however, and as often as it has meaning! It means a lot.