Appreciate Your Volunteers on Valentine’s Day


Jason E. Ebey, IOM

As I spent some time this weekend thinking about Valentine’s Day, I was reminded of a post I wrote a couple years ago about showing love for our volunteers – at Valentine’s and throughout the years.

When I went back and read the post again, I found that all of the tips I gave still hold true. Volunteers are the backbone of a Total Resource Campaign (TRC) and, really, of any good endeavor.

I do have a few new ideas that I would like to share with you.

Sometimes we roll our eyes at suggestions and ideas that we deem “cheesy” or “corny,” but those are often the simplest to execute and the best received ideas.

Today, run out to a local market and buy a box of Valentine cards – you know the ones… you have likely purchased them for your children. Buy a box or two – or 10 – and think of the volunteers to whom you would like to send an unexpected surprise.

Sign the cards “We love our TRC Volunteers,” or “We love what you do for our TRC,” or “We love the support you give our Chamber.” Customize it for your volunteers. Add a piece or a tiny bag of Valentine candy & you have a wonderful surprise. Spend tomorrow and Wednesday dropping these gifts off at their offices around town. Without a doubt you will start to see little thank yous start to show up on social media from grateful volunteers.

Speaking of social media, don’t forget to use these handy tools. You should have gotten your volunteers’ social media information and can post photos and congrats/words of appreciate on your social media, linking to each volunteer’s personal accounts. Everyone enjoys kind words of appreciation and recognition. Feature not just your campaign’s top three producers but all of those volunteers who make your chamber’s events and programs special.

While Valentine’s Day is an easy tie-in to sharing some love for your volunteers, don’t stop there. The very best TRCs are done by organizations that support and encourage their volunteers throughout the year. Diane Poole of the Trussville (Ala.) Area Chamber of Commerce sent sparklers to their volunteers on the 4th of July with notes saying, “You make us sparkle and shine! Thanks for all you do for the Chamber and our TRC!”

With volunteers and TRCs, little things mean a lot. The work done throughout the year can pay big dividends during the TRC itself.

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