Corporate volunteering is a great way for companies to show their commitment to their communities. But don't forget to show your appreciation for these volunteers, too! There's really no difference between individual volunteers and corporate volunteering events.
They're all giving up their time and energy, and it's important to let everyone know that their efforts are valued and appreciated. Here are some tips on how to thank corporate volunteers.
Who should you thank?
It's important to show love to the people who make a positive impact on your cause. From your hired staff to your donors and volunteers, a little appreciation goes a long way. Here are the people you should remember to thank following a corporate volunteering event.
Thank the person who organized the event
There's a lot of time and effort that goes into organizing any event. It's important to acknowledge the person who made it possible for the company to even participate as volunteers. Thank the organizer for taking initiative and managing the process.
Thank the leadership of the business
Regardless of whether they participated in the event, it’s important to recognize the company leaders who manage the team at large. Their contribution is like a movie producer. They move deadlines around, process the necessary paperwork, etc. to make sure the company has the staff they need to keep the business open while their team members volunteer for your nonprofit.
Thank each individual volunteer
Even though they came as a group, they contributed individually and ought to be recognized for it. If you have access to their information, send them thank-you messages in the same way you would any other individual volunteer. Whether it’s an email, a letter, or both, be sure to mention the impact they made and how grateful you are that they gave their time and effort for your cause.
Chances are these volunteers are unaware of your message and initiatives because they didn’t individually choose this volunteer opportunity. In your thank-you notes, include basic information about your nonprofit and other ways they can continue to help. Their engagement doesn’t have to be limited to corporate volunteer events and these individual appreciation letters could be the start of a new long-lasting relationship.
Ways you can thank your corporate volunteers
As we mentioned before, there’s virtually no difference between corporate volunteers and individual volunteers. So, you won’t find too many variations in how you thank them. But there are some nuances you should consider in your volunteer appreciation messaging.
Make sure they have a good experience, including a good orientation
When it comes to customer service, a great experience will almost always influence people to come back - even if there was a bump in the road along the way. This doesn't change when it comes to your volunteers. A good volunteering experience sends the signal that you thought about everything from the volunteer's perspective.
The purpose of an orientation is to prepare everyone for the task at hand. Giving an excellent orientation not only ensures the success of your event but also communicates appreciation to your volunteers. It's like a “Thanks!” in advance.
Thank them publicly
A great way to show volunteer appreciation is to publicly acknowledge their hard work and express your gratitude. Many nonprofits reserve a space on their websites thanking their sponsors. It's a great idea to do the same for your corporate volunteers.
Here are some other ways to send public appreciation:
- Newsletter: Let your subscribers know about the success of your event including how your corporate volunteers made it possible.
- Interviews: Whether you're on TV, on the radio, on a podcast, or featured in a magazine, interviews are a great opportunity to show volunteer appreciation. Both your audience and the interviewer's audience will hear about the company’s contributions to your nonprofit.
- Event: Hosting a volunteer appreciation event is especially effective when the volunteers are recurring. Throwing a party just for the company will definitely help them feel the love.
A public thank you is great publicity for businesses and, with their permission, is a simple thing you can do to help ensure they’ll feel appreciated and excited about volunteering again.
Send media of them volunteering
You probably have photos and videos of the volunteer event. Send media coverage to the volunteers showing how they helped with your cause. It's a great way to show them they made a difference and that their hard work didn't go unnoticed.
It's also another excellent way for the company to demonstrate how they're fulfilling their social responsibility promises. You've heard the saying, "Pics or it didn't happen," right? Well, make sure to take plenty and send them over!
Consider making a timeline of all the times the company participated in your volunteer activities. It'll be nostalgic and will deepen their commitment to your cause.
Invite your volunteers to share the photos and videos on social media. It will help to spread your message and increase volunteer engagement. You can also use hashtags to help promote the content and make it easier for people to find.
Remember to encourage volunteers to tag the company in their posts, as this will help to further strengthen the relationship between your nonprofit and the company. Their marketing team will love the PR!
Is there a grant-matching opportunity?
Grants are a great way to fund your projects and initiatives, but finding them can be tricky. Ask your volunteers about grant matching! It's a program type that connects your nonprofit's needs with available grant opportunities at the companies where your volunteers work.
Some processes are simpler than others but using a volunteer management tool like Civic Champs can help ensure you have all the data you need when it's time to submit an application. We talk more about grant matching in this article. You should check it out!
But, what does grant matching have to do with showing volunteer appreciation? This ties back into the volunteer experience. Someone who is committed to your cause and wants to invoke positive change will be excited to learn that there's yet another way they can contribute. This elevates their experience making them feel seen and valued.
Corporate volunteers are an important part of any nonprofit’s success, so it's vital to show them how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication. We’ve gone into detail above, but to recap, there are so many ways to express volunteer appreciation:
- Provide a good volunteer experience
- Send a note via email or regular mail
- Thank them on your website and social media channels
- Acknowledge them in an interview
- Share event photos and videos
Show your corporate volunteers that you value their contribution by giving them the recognition they deserve. They might end up as some of your most loyal volunteers!
As CEO of Civic Champs, I lead our team of passionate change leaders to create technology solutions to create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations.