Are You Grateful?

I bet if I asked if you were grateful for what your volunteers and staff do, you would say “Absolutely!” My next questions would be, “How do they know? What’s your plan?”

You can feel grateful all day long, but until you express your gratitude no one knows it. When you fail to express your gratitude, most people fill in the gap and believe that you’re ungrateful. Andy teaches this point well in this message: I Owe Who?.

We create an annual plan to let our teams know how grateful we are for them. Your plan doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. You just need a plan. Put it on your calendar. Put it in your budget. Say thank you!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Football shaped donuts after a big college weekend game
  • Thanksgiving homemade baked goods
  • Handwritten thank you notes
  • Apple cider bar
  • Hot Christmas breakfast
  • Warm welcome coffee mug
  • Valentine’s Day candy
  • Waffle House for our high school student volunteers
  • Nail polish for mom volunteers on Mother’s Day
  • BBQ rub for dad volunteers on Father’s Day
  • Graduation gift for high school senior volunteers
  • Favorite Starbucks drink for one special volunteer
  • Public recognition of a volunteer in a meeting
  • A framed picture of a leader with their small group kids

Thank your volunteers publically. Thank your volunteers personally. Thank your volunteers specifically. Thank your volunteers in mass. Thank them on special occasions. Thank them randomly. Do all that you can to be sure your volunteer environment is saturated with gratitude.

How have you thanked your volunteers recently?


  1. Jesse Kretzu says:

    I love these simple yet effective ideas.
    I usually plan an annual christmas party to celebrate the team, but its only once a year and i can miss volunteers.
    The other thing i try to do it pass out a complementary coffee coupon from our cafe when i see a volunteer “in the act” of something great.
    We also start each of our staff meetings with thank you cards to specific volunteers.

  2. I was wondering what you guys did for kids last Summer?? Any ideas and pics would be so helpful – Thanks so much!

  3. Miss this blog – it was one of my favorites! I still check every week! Hope you are doing great!

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