Volunteer recognition doesn’t need to be expensive

The theme of my last blog post was Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) and I am thinking of that again today as I read a hand-written thank-you note from the executive director of an agency I volunteer with.  As a volunteer and a prior manager of volunteers, I know that volunteers don’t want much, just:

  • An opportunity to apply their skills to make a difference in their community,
  • Recognition that they are a part of the team, and
  • An occasional heart-felt thank you for their work.

So, during National Volunteer Week, I encourage you to keep it simple: thank your volunteers for their work and let them know their work has an impact.  It doesn’t need to be a big event and you don’t need to spend money on gifts.  It doesn’t matter what your role is in the organization.  Just say thank-you. 

Click here for some other thoughts on creating a great volunteer experience.

KISS at work

A recent project I completed underscored the wisdom of the KISS acronym: Keep It Simple Stupid.  I was asked to develop training tools to introduce some procedural and database changes to a large team of volunteers.  An initial brainstorming session with the team generated ideas about video production using educational software.  However, it soon became apparent that we would need a less sophisticated solution to meet a tight timeline, accommodate the organization’s IT capacity and work within the budget.  By keeping our plan simple, I was able to deliver a training solution that was well-received and cost-effective to implement over a large geography.  The project was completed on time and on budget.

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A Year of Discovery

Last year, when I was starting my consulting business and worrying about many things, a wise friend of mine said, “you know what, people want you to succeed.”  As I look back over the past year, I can’t help but recognize the truth in that statement.  My journey began with family members who offered their design and communications skills to build my brand and my website.  Then a friend subcontracted me for my first job to get me started.  Then a previous colleague called about a contract.  Then a new acquaintance referred me to a potential client.

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