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How to Write the Perfect "Thank You for Volunteering" Letter

Notes, Emails, and Examples to Show Volunteer Appreciation

Free Templates: Volunteer Thank You Letters

If there's one thing you learn in volunteer leader training, it's the importance of letting your volunteers know how much you appreciate them.

While grand gestures can be wonderful, sometimes the smallest things—like a "thank you for volunteering” letter—can have the biggest impact.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about writing a thank you for volunteering letter, including why it’s important, how to write one, and a few best practices to keep in mind.

And, of course, we have a few free templates, too!

3-Jul-10-2024-11-58-15-1995-AMWhat is a volunteer thank you letter, and why is it important?

Sometimes, a volunteer goes the extra mile, and you want to let them know how much you appreciate it. Enter the “thank you for volunteering” letter—a personalized letter that expresses how much a volunteer means to your mission.

While many people think direct mail is a thing of the past, research actually suggests otherwise. Because digital “thanks” have become so popular and in some ways, run-of-the-mill, many people agree that direct mail actually feels more personal. Plus, it even resonates better: The U.S. Postal Service reports that brand recall is 70% higher when customers are exposed to direct mail compared to digital.

It’s also essential for creating a “relational volunteer culture,” or a supportive, personal, and collaborative experience, as Elisabeth Donovan says, which, “Results in deeper, more meaningful connections between volunteers, the organization, and the mission.” 

In essence, a “thank you for volunteering” letter is a thoughtful, personalized way to make volunteers feel seen and appreciated—both of which are essential to retaining and engaging volunteer.

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Volunteer Thank You Templates

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How to write a “thank you for volunteering” letter in 3 steps

1. Gather the right volunteer information 

One of the most fundamental steps in acknowledging volunteers' generosity is gathering the right information. Acknowledging specific people and their actions shows that you recognize and appreciate the volunteers' unique contributions, which reinforces the importance of their role.

Using your volunteer management system, check out each volunteer profile to find their basic information, impacts, and any other insights:

  • Information: Gather volunteer names, addresses, roles, and contributions.

  • Impacts: Collect data about the exact impacts that a volunteer had on your mission by downloading a volunteer impact report or taking a look at each supporter’s volunteering resume.  

  • Insights: Talk to team members or other volunteers for more qualitative information like personal anecdotes, positive previous interactions, or unique skills they brought to the project.

Saying thank you for volunteer in 3 steps
2. Outline the "thank you for volunteering" letter

Once you’ve gathered all the right information, it’s time to put the letter together.

Here’s an example of a thank you for volunteering outline:

  • Greeting and opening paragraph: Address the volunteer personally (using their name) and begin with a warm, sincere thank you and a reminder of who you are and your mission.

  • Middle paragraphs: This part of the “thank you for volunteering letter” is the most important. Here, share specific examples of their contributions and impact. Mention particular projects, events, or tasks the volunteer worked on.
    • Example: "Your help in organizing the [Event Name] was crucial. Because of your time and talent, we were able to raise 20% more funds than last year, which will go towards [specific purpose]."

    • Example: "You handled the unexpected challenges at the registration desk with such grace and efficiency by doing [x] and [x]"
  • Closing paragraph and sign-off: At the end of your “thank you for volunteering letter” reiterate your thanks with a heartfelt closing, and show that you value their ongoing support. 

3. Draft and edit

Once you’ve created the structure and drafted your letter, be sure to review it for errors. Recruit a few team members to look over the letter, fact-check the information, and offer their feedback.

Then, send it out!

Best practices for writing your “thank you for volunteering” letter

  • Keep track: One of the best ways to make sending a “thank you for volunteering” letter simple and smooth is by regularly keeping track of volunteer hours, efforts, impact, and information. By using robust volunteer management software, your nonprofit can create detailed profiles, volunteer resumes, and more.

  • Send promptly: Don’t wait too long after the volunteer’s contribution to show gratitude. Promptness shows that you recognize and appreciate their efforts immediately.

  • Make it personal and specific: Adding a person’s name in direct mail can increase response by 135%, and adding more sophisticated database information can increase the response rate by up to 500%. That why your “thank you for volunteering letters” should be unique to every supporter. 

  • Tell a story: Storytelling is one of the best ways to connect people with your mission—volunteers included. To ensure volunteers understand the importance of their work, share a specific story or example of how the volunteer’s work made a tangible difference.

  • Put the spotlight on their efforts: Your “thank you for volunteering letter” should be focused on the volunteer's efforts, not your efforts. For example, instead of saying, “You helped us make a difference, simply say, “You made a difference.”

    What to include in your volunteer thank you letter

“Thank you for volunteering” letter templates

Sample Template 1: General Thank You for Volunteering Letter

[Your Organization’s Letterhead]

[Date]

Dear [Volunteer’s Name],

I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible time and effort you've put into our programs at [Nonprofit Organization Name].

Your commitment and generosity during [specific project/event] have been invaluable. The time and energy you invested in [specific task or activity] have significantly impacted the community. For instance, [share a specific story or outcome related to their work]. This was possible because of your commitment and enthusiasm.

We are incredibly fortunate to have volunteers like you who go above and beyond to support our mission. Your kindness, generosity, and skills have made a real difference, and for that, we cannot thank you enough.

As we continue our work, we hope to see you involved in future projects and events. Your contributions are not only valued but essential to our success and ability to fulfill our mission. If you have any suggestions or feedback on how we can improve, we would love to hear from you.

Once again, thank you for your incredible support. Your efforts are deeply appreciated by everyone here at [Organization’s Name].

With heartfelt thanks,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

[Organization’s Name]

[Contact Information]

Want these free Volunteer Thank You letter templates?

Sample Template 2: Thank You for Volunteering Letter for Event Volunteers

[Your Organization’s Letterhead]

[Date]

Dear [Volunteer’s Name],

I am writing to extend my deepest gratitude for your outstanding support during our recent event, [Event Name]. Your efforts in [specific role or task] were instrumental in making the event a success.

One moment that particularly stood out was [describe a specific instance or story]. Your ability to [specific skill or attribute] truly made a difference, ensuring everything ran smoothly and our guests had a memorable experience.

We understand that volunteering requires balancing other commitments, and we are truly grateful for the time and energy you dedicated to this event. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude were infectious, and we could not have done it without you.

Looking ahead, we are excited about upcoming events and projects and hope you will continue to be part of our volunteer team. Your contributions are invaluable, and we look forward to working with you again soon.

Thank you once again for your hard work and dedication. Your support means the world to us and to everyone who benefited from the event.

Warmest regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

[Organization’s Name]

[Contact Information]

Sample Template 3: Thank You for Long-Term Volunteer Commitment

[Your Organization’s Letterhead]

[Date]

Dear [Volunteer’s Name],

I am writing to express my deepest appreciation for your long-term commitment and dedication to [Organization’s Name].

Over the past [specific time period], your involvement in [specific project or general volunteer activities] has been nothing short of extraordinary. Your consistency and willingness to volunteer your time wherever needed have had a profound impact. For instance, [share a specific story or outcome]. This reflects the incredible dedication you bring to our mission.

Your growth and development as a volunteer have not gone unnoticed. Your recent work in [specific area] has set a new standard for excellence, and your leadership has inspired many of your fellow volunteers.

As we look to the future, we are thrilled to continue this journey with you as one of our top nonprofit volunteers. Your ongoing support is critical to achieving our goals, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

Thank you once again for your unwavering support and dedication. Your efforts are deeply valued and appreciated by all of us at [Organization’s Name].

With heartfelt thanks and warm regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

[Organization’s Name]

[Contact Information]

Sample Template 4: Thank You for Special Skill or Expertise

[Your Organization’s Letterhead]

[Date]

Dear [Volunteer’s Name],

I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for sharing your incredible skills and expertise with [Organization’s Name]. Your work on [specific task or project] has been invaluable.

Your ability to [specific skill or attribute] was particularly impressive and made a significant difference in [describe outcome or impact]. For instance, [share a specific story or result]. Your professional approach and attention to detail have set a high standard for all of us.

We are truly grateful for your willingness to lend your expertise to our cause. Volunteers like you, who bring specialized skills and a passion for making a difference, are the backbone of our organization.

Thank you once again for your exceptional contributions. We look forward to your continued involvement and to seeing the amazing work you will undoubtedly continue to do.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

[Organization’s Name]

[Contact Information]

Nail your next “thank you for volunteering letter” with Get Connected 

A “thank you for volunteering” letter is one of the most thoughtful ways to express to volunteers how meaningful their contributions are to your organization.

Unlike a social media post or newsletter shout-out, direct mail can make volunteers feel deeply cared for and thought of, which often leads to better retention and engagement.

With all-in-one volunteer management software, nonprofits can make sending “thank you for volunteering” letters a simple part of their everyday operations. By creating detailed volunteer profiles, keeping track of impact, and so much more, nonprofits can make sure that volunteers always feel personally valued and appreciated—no matter what.

Book a free Get Connected demo →

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