Simple (& free) Ways to Appreciate Volunteers

Guest blogger Stephanie Kurtz shares a volunteer’s perspective on appreciating our volunteers. She is the kind of volunteer every ministry would want and was once a youth ministry coordinator.

I recently wrote a blog about appreciating volunteers and started thinking how that is easier said than done.  In the busy world of ministry, there is often a lack of time to get everything done as it is, and when we want to add another task, it can seem daunting!  Not to mention, if affirmations don’t come naturally to us, it can be difficult to share those with others.  I’ve developed a list of ideas that are either free or nearly free that can help make our volunteers feel appreciated for their work.  Trust me, as a volunteer, it’s some of these little things that help us feel valued as your volunteers.

Ideas to say “Thank You”

  • Say it before the event
  • Say it during the event
  • Say it after the event
  • Tweet it & tag your volunteers
  • Facebook it on your FB page
  • Thank volunteers in your parish bulletin
  • Text a random thank you on an “off day”
  • Send an email
  • Ask your pastor to thank your volunteers
  • Host a thank you dinner after a big event

Ideas to acknowledge your volunteers:

  • Talk positively about your volunteers
  • Spend time at volunteer meetings to acknowledge their successes
  • During parish announcements at mass, share a highlight about one of your volunteers
  • Post a “volunteer of the week” acknowledgement in a section of the parish bulletin
  • Make others aware of how much your volunteers help you

Ideas to show you care:

  • Remember special occasions in your volunteer’s lives (birthdays, anniversaries, the day their grandmother passed away)
  • Send birthday cards to volunteers
  • After a big work project/test that the volunteer was doing, send a note to ask how it went
  • Get to know volunteers: who is their spouse, family, favorite food, etc.
  • Pray for your volunteers

I hope these ideas help you and make your volunteers feel appreciated for all the work they do to support your ministries.  Comment below and share some of your own unique ideas with us on how you have shown appreciation to your volunteers!

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



Questions or Comments?

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