Show Some Volunteer Love this Valentine’s Day


Jason E. Ebey, IOM

This is Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m not stating anything overly obvious, as I’m sure everyone has had a florist or two drop by the office today with deliveries of flowers or chocolates. Or if you happen to be stuck in an airport, I’m sure you’ve watched more than one fellow traveler pick out a pink or red gift from the duty free store to take home.

Whether you think Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year or the most commercial, it is a pretty easy opportunity to capitalize on the calendar in order to show your volunteers some love.

Volunteer Love
When I talk with Total Resource Campaign (TRC) clients about their campaigns and the follow-up needed after the campaign, I always stress that it is all about making the volunteers feel important and valued.

A volunteer who feels like he or she is really integral to the Chamber and the life of the programs at the Chamber is a volunteer who will continue to bring in new sponsorships and members for years to come.

And while there are layers upon layers of ways to make those volunteers feel special throughout the year, this commercial love-filled holiday gives you a ready-made opportunity. Seize it.

Love Notes
Many chambers use Constant Contact to communicate with their volunteers via email (ALL should, as Constant Contact provides its services to Chambers of Commerce at a discount.). The email marketing website has pre-made Valentine’s Day templates ready for you to use.

Just log on, pick your template, write a quick message to your volunteers telling them how ‘sweet’ you think each and every one of them is, choose the appropriate mail list, and you’re done.

In about 15 minutes, you’ve sent your volunteers a note to tell them how special they are.

Public Professions of Love
Take it to the streets, so to speak. Flip through those group shots of your volunteers and post a few on your social media sites with captions telling how grateful you are to have such supportive volunteers. Tag everyone in the photos to make sure the photos show up where their friends and co-workers will see them.

Post a few photos to your Chamber website if you have a photo gallery. Post links to the gallery on your social media sites to encourage traffic, both for your Chamber exposure and for your volunteers to get that little boost in exposure as well. Send a quick link to the CEOs of those volunteers’ businesses.

Love Lottery
If your Chamber is hosting a fund-raiser this weekend or in the coming weeks, do a random drawing from the names of the volunteers and give away two free tickets to the event.

You’ll make one volunteer’s day, and you’re sure to get some free publicity for the event from all of the social media posts the volunteer will give you.

Love your Volunteers
Chambers who do well are grateful for their volunteers. They nurture that relationship year-round. And while it may seem silly, they take the opportunities to thank them and to make them feel appreciated, even if those opportunities are commercial and hokey.

Go on, spread some volunteer love this afternoon.

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