6 Ways to Show Appreciation for Volunteers

Enthusiastic volunteers are the backbone of every church. Without them, who would help with the running of events, kids’ ministry classes, and even the church's social media accounts? As most churches cannot afford to have all of these roles manned by people in paid positions, volunteers are essential.

Grant Glas
May 11, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Your volunteers generously sacrifice their time for the good of their community, so show them some love and appreciation. There are countless ways to do this, from warm words of encouragement to sweet and thoughtful appreciation gifts for church workers. But the most important thing is to make sure your team of selfless helpers knows how much you value them.

These are our top six tips for showing volunteer appreciation.

Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

Giving your volunteer a gift

On a new volunteer’s first day, giving them a small token gift will help them feel warmly welcomed. This could be anything that represents your church community, like a tote bag that features the logo or a mini notepad and pen that they can use to write notes throughout their first few weeks.

Encourage members of the congregation to spread their gratitude with gifts too. Gift ideas for church volunteers don’t have to cost much at all. They can be anything from homemade jams or cookies to small flower arrangements from their gardens. It’s the thought that counts and homemade gifts are bursting with love.

Cards for Special Days

Happy Birthday card

Remembering birthdays is a great way to let your volunteer team know you’re thinking of them. A small gesture like a handwritten card signed by the church leader and other church workers will go a long way. Take it to the next level by slipping a gift card inside the envelope so they can treat themselves to something special.

Other important days for church volunteers are the time milestones. If you have a training period for new employees, send out a little card to say thanks after their time being trained is up. Yearly milestone cards are another thoughtful way to show volunteer appreciation. Top tip: whenever a new volunteer starts, note it down on an online calendar and set it to repeat every year so you can see these dates at a glance.

Weekly Spotlight Shoutout

Email newsletter shoutout

Make good use of your church newsletter by dedicating a section to volunteers who have gone above and beyond. Choose one person a week to be the ‘star’ and feature a photo of them along with their top achievement of the week and a message of thanks. This might even inspire other church members to congratulate them.

If you have a digital bulletin board, utilize it to share supportive messages. The sky's the limit with this one. You can change the content daily and include almost anything, from congratulating a volunteer for graduating from college or wishing a newly married couple all the best on their new journey.

Plan a Social Event

Dinner party

Who doesn’t love a party? Throw a social event exclusively for your volunteers to give them a chance to get to know each other better and build bonds. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant either. It could simply be a barbecue on a sunny day or a snuggled-up and cozy movie night. 

Your church may hold many events with an open invitation, so choosing to make one just for volunteers makes it extra special. Choose a church leader to give a speech expressing the church’s gratitude for their hard work, and put some planning in to make it fun! These events can do great things for team building, so it’s worth investing.

Actively Seek Their Feedback

Meeting with your volunteer

Hold regular meetings with the volunteers so they have a chance to share their feedback. If you have a large church, setting up groups of volunteers is a smart way to do this. Volunteer groups can discuss their thoughts and feelings beforehand and elect one person to relay the information in a meeting with the church leaders.

Give your volunteers a say in some of the decisions that need to be made. Whether it's finalizing the new logo or selecting a new charitable donation scheme, offering a chance for them to input their opinion will show just how much you value it. And the chances are, their feedback will give you valuable insight, making decisions that much easier. 

Invest in Your Volunteers

Invest in your volunteers learning

It is in the interest of a church to invest in its volunteers’ skills. These will be transferable to the everyday running of events and will transform how your church is run. When a volunteer is promoted to be a small group leader, offer them leadership training to ensure they are well equipped for the new position.

This training can be entirely online or led by pre-existing church workers who have proven leadership skills. You could even set up a central online hub for training, allowing volunteers to pick and choose which courses they would like to partake in. The more they complete, the more responsibility they will be given.

In Conclusion

Church group gathering at someones home outside

Create a warm sense of safety within your volunteer community by being generous with your gratitude. Say “thank you” to your volunteers often, as they consistently choose to support the growth of their church. 

You may struggle to get as many volunteer sign-ups as you would like or wonder how to get more church volunteers. The best way is by ensuring the position is enjoyable. Give thanks often and share praise for your selfless team.

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