Volunteers are amazing. They do vital, and often unsung, work for the love of the cause. Here are 5 ways to let your volunteers know how important they are:
Smile! It's a nonverbal but powerful way to make volunteers feel valued, and creates a friendly atmosphere so they'll want to return.
Use names. A volunteer sign-in page can serve as a cheat sheet; every time a volunteer comes in, check the sheet for the person's name and then use it in a friendly, personal greeting.
Say thank you. Say it often, and say it sincerely.
Encourage friendships. When volunteers feel a personal connection to other volunteers and staff, they're more invested in their work, because it's also part of a rewarding social outlet.
Work side by side. Volunteers will feel more important if you come out from behind the counter or out of your office and work alongside them, even if it's just for a few moments. That camaraderie shows you're approachable and that you value the volunteers' time.