7 Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Church Volunteers

The holiday season is upon us, and with that, you’ll need to think beyond ministry scheduling and consider new and creative ways to say “thank you” to ministry volunteers who have given of their time and energy. Often, budgets are tight and can discourage efforts to show gratitude. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Take a look at the options below for creative ways to say “thank you” to church volunteers.

1. Send a photo reel

There’s a reason that Instagram is on the rise: a picture is worth a thousand words. Throughout the year, and especially during the busy holiday season, be sure to take photos of your volunteers at work. When saying thank you, send a link to an online photo gallery or insert some images into the body an email. Share great memories and prove that volunteer efforts are truly seen.

2. Make a video

Make a video of church leadership thanking volunteers for their efforts. Send it to volunteers via email or show it during church announcements so volunteers can see and hear ministry leaders recognizing them for their tireless contributions.

3. Offer a webinar

Did you know that there are free webinar tools available? Take advantage of this modern technology to host a webinar. You can host the webinar in the evening and connect with volunteers in their own homes. Thank them for their work, answer any questions they may have, and share updates about upcoming opportunities to serve.

4. Write a note

Writing a thank you note by hand may seem old fashioned, but it’ll reap great dividends in building relationships with volunteers. Don’t hesitate to ask other ministry leaders, including pastors and deacons, to contribute to the effort as well. Try to personalize each note by thanking volunteers by name and for their specific position. You can send notes in the mail, or pass them out at church for an extra opportunity to say thank you in person.

5. Give fun certificates

At the end of the holiday season, take a moment to share certificates of recognition. Have fun and recognize your volunteers for their unique personalities and contributions. Have a volunteer with a great sense of humor? Recognize them for “Most Likely to Make You Laugh.” Have a volunteer who prefers working behind the scenes? Create a certificate for “Most Likely to Serve Sight Unseen.” Pass certificates out during a formal thank you dinner or a quick get-together after the service to show your appreciation.

6. Create a social media post

Always get permission before sharing personal identifying information, such as a name or photo, on social media. But, once your volunteers give their consent, you can create a social media post thanking individuals, groups, or your volunteers at large for their service. Not only will your church network see it, but, through the tags, their friends and family can see and recognize volunteers for their hard work as well.

7. Recognize a volunteer of the month

There’s no doubt that Easter and Christmas require the most of volunteers. However, thanking volunteers doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays. Create a culture of gratitude by thanking volunteers all year long. Start a “volunteer of the month” program for an easy way to recognize volunteer efforts. If you’d like, you can determine the volunteer of the month by ministry group to give your church opportunities to recognize more than 12 volunteers a year.

While finding creative ways to thank volunteers can be tough, scheduling can be one of the biggest challenges in volunteer management. If you’re looking for a way to save time and streamline volunteer scheduling, try Ministry Scheduler Pro free for 30 days.