New volunteers and old? Makes us think of the Girl Scout song:
Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.
It’s a good reminder because often we neglect people in our lives that have been with us for a while, the loyal ones, who dedicate themselves to helping, and they do it without desire for acknowledgement. But it’s for those very reasons that they need to be acknowledged.
But how do you actively recruit, show appreciation to new volunteers, and make the ones who have been with you feel as special as they did when they were brand new? That’s a lot to put on a volunteer coordinator but it has to be done.
Ways to Show Old and New Volunteers Appreciation
Place Old in Charge of New
Part of showing appreciation for some people is noting their seniority. You can task your tried and true volunteers with showing the new ones the ropes and answering any questions the new group may have. Instead of this being a boss employee situation, encourage your faithful to approach it from a mentor/protege standpoint.
Check In with Your Stalwarts
Before assigning tasks for new volunteers, make sure your loyal ones are doing what they want to be doing. There’s nothing worse than bringing in a new group, assigning them something to do, and then finding out that your stalwarts would’ve loved to have been asked to do that activity.
If any of these newbies are friends with your existing volunteers, schedule them together. It will be more enjoyable and they’re more likely to keep returning.
Old or new, everyone loves to be thanked. While every chamber is thankful for its volunteers, the more specific you can be when bestowing your appreciation on them, the more meaningful it will feel.
Finally, a great way to get everyone together is through food. If you’re able to swing it in your budget, have a welcome/appreciation breakfast or lunch. Food goes a long way to putting smiles on faces and showing chamber volunteers appreciation.