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Volunteer Thank You Letter Examples

A volunteer thank you note is written by a non-profit organization to appreciate volunteers for their contribution, which could be time or service/expertise.

The note is sent as part of volunteer appreciation. Their appreciation encompasses an array of activities such as giving them gifts, formally recognizing and sharing their efforts, investing in their future, and sending a formal appreciation for volunteering.  

Volunteers are an excellent resource for any non-profit organization. They ensure that there are enough people to undertake different tasks within an organization’s programs without any compensation. Therefore, it is important to appreciate their help and recognize their contributions through thank-you notes. Organizations can send thank-you notes monthly or annually. They can also decide to issue them privately or publicly. 

This article discusses the importance of a thank you letter to volunteers, what information to include in the letter, and writing tips and techniques to make it more effective.

Statistical insights: Non-profits are reported to generate 1 trillion dollars for the United States economy annually. Additionally, more than 40% of public charities rely on volunteers to run their operations. It is reported that Americans volunteer up to 8.8 billion hours per year (Urban Institute).

Volunteer Thank You Note Templates

You can write thank you notes to your volunteers using templates. They are predesigned to give you an outline of what information to include in your note. You can get such downloadable templates below. They are free and readily customizable, enabling you to modify notes’ contents to suit your situation.

Importance of Volunteer Thank You Note

The importance of thank-you notes to any organization that relies on volunteers cannot be overstated. Therefore, showing appreciation to them for their effort and participation encourages them to offer their services the next time they are called upon. Since people have different interests, it is advisable to show appreciation in different ways that suit each one of them.

Some factors that determine how you express your appreciation include age, personality, amount of time they have spent at your organization, etc. Therefore, choose a befitting gesture for each person. 

Here are some reasons for sending thank you notes to your volunteers:

It motivates them

People appreciate when their efforts are recognized, and this can be a source of motivation for most them. They will typically feel happy whenever you thank them for their help. When they know their help is appreciated, they will be more inclined to continue offering their time. This increases their job satisfaction and fosters a connection with your organization.

Fosters a sense of community

Thank you notes help create a connection with them. This connection can be with the organization or the cause/initiative they are involved in. In the long run, this creates a sense of community as they feel welcomed and embraced by the organization.

It reduces turnover

Appreciating them encourages existing volunteers to return. This reduces turnover as there is no need to recruit and train new volunteers. This can save you time and resources that would otherwise be consumed due to the high rate of retraining volunteers.

Leads to better outcomes

When they know their time and efforts are appreciated, they are more likely to produce better results on tasks assigned to them. This leads to more success.

Increases performance and productivity

Appreciating them is part of employee management. It is used to catalyze performance and productivity. This is because they feel their work is being appreciated and thus dedicate their time fully to serve the organization.

When to Send Thank You Note?

It is advisable to thank your volunteers whenever they help with any program or event. Appreciation can be done at different stages of the volunteer’s journey.

Here are specific scenarios when a thank you note should be sent to them:

  • You should thank them whenever they commit to offer their time and expertise. Also, you can send automated thank you messages whenever they register for their shifts.
  • You should also consider thanking volunteers a few days after ending their service to the organization.
  • It is advisable to thank them as they begin their shifts. Such thanks can be given on-site and in person.
  • Also, thank your volunteers at the end of their shifts. Thank them for their time, dedication, and hard work. Such appreciation messages can be sent via text or email if you work remotely with them.
  • Thank you notes should also be issued throughout the year to recognize the participation and collective contribution of the different volunteers. Such notes can be issued through an annual report that documents the impact of volunteers. Such appreciation can also be sent after major events within the year.

How to Write Volunteer Thank You Note: 6 Key Steps

Conveying your appreciation in writing requires you to choose the right words to show your intentions. The note should be personal and specific to the volunteer you are thanking.

Below is a procedure for writing thank you notes for your volunteers:

Greet the recipient

Start by greeting the volunteer. You should include their name in the greeting to give the note a personal touch. Since the note is meant to be a formal appreciation, use the Dear [volunteer name] format. 

For example:

Dear Janine

Express your thanks

Next, begin your thank you note by expressing your thanks to the person. This lets the person know the letter’s purpose immediately. You can make this introduction as captivating as possible. 

For example:

I highly thank you for your service to Unscalable Heights Foundation as a program manager for an entire year. Your time with us has been invaluable, and your dedication allowed us to meet our annual goals and propelled us closer to our future goals.

Mention a specific detail or two

You should mention one or two specific things you attribute to the volunteer. This can be their personality or a noteworthy experience. This is another way of adding some personal touch to the thank you note. 

For example:

It was remarkable how you managed to oversee a team of 100 members and coordinate them to complete their assignments on time. Your excitement for the project significantly boosted the team’s morale, and I have received reports of praise from different departments.

Mention future projects/tasks

You should also mention any future projects you as an organization will be undertaking in the future. This opportunity can be used as an open invitation to individuals who would want to volunteer in the future. You can mention broad projects or specific tasks to them. 

This section can be written as follows:

Next year we will undertake a sanitation project for the community in Belleview. I hope you will be willing to participate in the project as a manager. Your skills and personality would be a great asset to the team.

Conclude the note with more gratitude

Next, you should reiterate your appreciation briefly. 

For example:

Thank you once again!

Sign off

Lastly, you should end the thank you note by signing off. You can do so by indicating the name of the letter’s author or organization representative. 

You can sign off as follows:

Jim Brooks

Volunteer Thank You Note Template

Dear [name of Recipient],

Thank you for [reason for appreciation] towards [name of your organization]. Working with you for the last [number of months] has been a pleasure. Your talents as a [role the volunteer played] have benefited our cause. I am excited to notify you that we will be having the [name of project] next year, and we would be delighted to have you as part of our team.

Thank you [or any other appreciation message].

[your name]

Volunteer Thank You Note Sample

Dear Xavier,

It is such an honor to be the one to thank you for your relentless dedication to our cause at More Than Enough Foundation. The last six months have been an incredible and exciting journey working with you. Your leadership skills have improved the workplace atmosphere and motivated other team members, which has increased productivity and produced better results. I commend you for that. In 5 months, we will be commencing a Heroes and Heroins in Communities campaign. The campaign aims to support survivors of climatic disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. Having you as a team leader on that project would be a delight. Thank you.

We are grateful for your contribution.

James Hernandez

Effective Practices for Volunteer Thank You Note

You should aim to write a thank you note that makes them feel a part of a team and gets them excited for future projects and tasks. There are specific tips you can adopt. 

They include:

Personalize it

You should personalize the note to address them specifically and their experience with you during volunteering. This can be done by addressing them by their name in the greetings and mentioning specific details about their experience.

Connect it to the mission

One of the biggest motivations for volunteers is your cause or mission. They often volunteer because they believe in it and want to participate. So, connecting the thank you note with the mission is advisable to remind them why they volunteered in the first place. This also reassures them that their contribution positively impacts something they care about.

Be specific and concise

The appreciation message should be specific and concise. The thank you note is meant to be a short correspondence. So you do not have to be too detailed. However, you should mention specific details about the volunteer or their voluntary service. For example, you can mention a noteworthy accomplishment or kind gesture they did for someone in the organization.

Make a list of your volunteers 

You should create a list of your volunteers and present it to the public. You can create a list that can be made available online for viewers. You can also create a physical list on a banner or brochures to present during in-person events and slide for presentations during events. Include pictures, if available, next to the volunteers’ names, making it easier for the public to identify the volunteers.  

Send it timely

Thank you notes are more effective when sent on time. You should thank them immediately after you notice or become aware of something worth the appreciation. You do not necessarily have to wait until the end of the year to thank them. Timely appreciation also guarantees that you reap the benefits of a happy volunteer.

Wrapping Up

Volunteers offer assistance by choice. They offer their time and help without seeking any compensation. Therefore, showing them that they are appreciated through thank you notes is a courteous way of repaying them for their efforts. The notes should be stored in your human resource management documents. The note should be direct and must convey your appreciation clearly and intentionally. Ambiguous thank you notes appear insincere and have a negative impact on the volunteers’ attitude towards work and the organization.

To ensure you have a professionally written thank you note, you should aim to either use a template or review samples like the ones provided above. They will help you to understand what information to include and how to structure it. You can automate how frequently you want to send thank you notes and schedule when to send physical notes. Volunteers will appreciate the recognition and be more inclined to continue offering their services whenever needed.

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