No where do you ever hear…I volunteer so I can be recognized &rewarded…but everyone who puts forth effort, wants to be appreciated and showing appreciation is probably the most important part of recognizing and rewarding volunteers.
Quote: &quot;Feeling appreciated is one of the most important needs that people have. When you share with someone your appreciation and gratitude, they will not forget you. Appreciation will return to you many times.&quot; Steve Brunkhorst It is important to remember that recognition is not so much something you do as it is something you are. It is a sensitivity to others as persons, not a strategy for discharging obligations.
The reason volunteers are not paid is not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless
Greet by name…easy for some, hard for others. Do any of you find that a challenge? I have 120 active volunteers, plus three other support groups. Some of those volunteers do field work and may come into the museum once or twice a year. Also try to remember personal things about them. Ask how their dog is doing or grandchild.. Give personal compliments – you look nice today Respect Sensitivities-This aspect of appreciating volunteers came to me early in my museum career. We had a Jewish couple that volunteer at the museum for years. At one education event planning meeting our new Education curator ask me to call this couple to double check on when a Jewish holiday was because we didn’t want to plan anything on that day…When I explained this to the volunteer he was astonished and grateful. He appreciated that we had thought of them. Put up a volunteer suggestion box…follow through with suggestion…
Hold rap sessions Keep challenging them Give additional responsibility Enlist to train other volunteers These actions all show that you respect them and their abilities. These are all designed to empower the volunteer. Giving empowerment is a great sign of trust and appreciation. Send newsworthy information to the media- this is a picture we took of the two volunteers who had crafted this wonderful stand for the gann dancer to be displayed on. Send it with an article to the papers and it was pick up!
Include in Newsletter Write recommendations Praise them to their friends/parents/spouse When you praise a volunteer in front of people that are important to them it really lifts that volunteer Teen volunteers and parents, note to the service learning teacher Give opportunities for volunteers to recognize the efforts of other volunteers
These three points I think are very important. But they can be very challenging to implement..but if you can it will really show your volunteer know that you respect and appreciate them Motivate all staff to converse with them/ defend against hostile or negative staff/ persuade “personnel” to equate volunteer experience with work experience Having successful staff/volunteer partnerships is very important in helping the volunteers feel appreciated and rewarded. Do any of you have problems with staff that don’t work with volunteers? A staff having issues with a volunteer, not appreciating or not understanding the volunteer or their role?
Ideas on how to get staff buy in…or support I Did a 10 minute power point to our staff trying to educate them on volunteering programs. I presented it like a first aid presentation, but these were the points I brought out..
Why volunteers were important to our Museum Give Specific Examples: These were two of the specific examples at our museum.
I went over why people volunteer…mentioning many of the things listed today, but then I narrowed it down to specific reasons that the volunteers I had interviewed mentioned To support the community To learn or develop new skills To share their talents and knowledge To meet new people To earn school service learning hours It was at this point that I told the staff, “It is important to understand the reason of why our volunteers come here. Often the staff faces little tasks in the museum that take maybe 30, but they need to be done every day. Comments, It’s not my job, I have too much on my plate already….bla, bla, bla, “Well just get one of your volunteers to do it. My reply is…
Volunteers are robots or slaves. Is it fair to ask a volunteer who took the 5 week gallery interpreter training to just be security or to clean up a mess in the gallery made by a group of visitors? I know we have wonderful volunteers that would do anything, but we need to remember their reasons for volunteering and make sure we are fulfilling their needs as well as the needs of the museum.
The treatment of volunteers One of the first things you need to do is… *Give them respect Once a staff member said, we should refer to our volunteers as unpaid staff. But I would hope that we treat them better than we treat each other. *Listen to our volunteers…Let them share their ideas- Our volunteers have many wonderful ideas. Some of them will work, some of them won’t, but don’t shut them down with, “Oh we’ve tried that, it won’t work.” “We can’t, we’re a city run museum”, allow volunteers to express their ideas. Not only listen to their ideas, but point them in the direction of the staff member who might be able to follow up on it. *Empower our volunteers-by consulting the volunteers- allowing Volunteers recommend and act after receiving approval. Helps the volunteer take ownership in the museum.
Don’t assume staff knows the material. I have found that sometimes volunteers receive better orientation about the museum than the new staff do.
We all have issues at one time or another with different staff members, policies, budget, & decisions that are made…but those opinions, thoughts, gripes do not need to be shared with our volunteers. Our volunteers don’t need to see our dirty laundry. A bad attitude from a staff member can spread through our volunteers faster than the swine flu in a closed room. Also remember that this is a way of appreciating your volunteers, by not having to be encumbered by the daily politics of the museum
Getting back on task All staff should show appreciation to the volunteers… OK, back to recognizing and rewarding volunteers… Do we need another cheer here?! Lean to the right, lean to the left Stand up, sit down We love our volunteers with all our might!
Think out of the box…instead of sending holiday greetings in December…send a special thank you card at thanksgiving. Sending personal notes is time consuming but I think worth the effort These cards can be purchased cards or
You can create your own… Example of a thank you note sent to the volunteers who helped to implement a home school day about our Mars! Exhibit
Have a volunteer make them… I have a volunteer that loves scrap booking… and she actually makes the birthday cards we send to our volunteers. She also makes note cards for me I use them as thank you’s, get well cards, personal wishes… Keep a look out for a volunteer with these talents but you
The month before I send her the list of volunteers who’s birthdays are in the next month. She creates the cards, puts their name on the envelope, and their birth date in the upper right corner of the envelope and then delivers them to me before the first of the month. All She leaves them unsealed so I can write a little personal message to them. Then I just seal them and send them at the first of every week…
E-mail and E-cards are also ways to send notes of appreciation. This was the Staff Holiday card One draw back to email and ecards are that not every volunteer has access to it. I probably have 15 volunteers that do not receive email… Time for another cheer!
Three dimensional items I put in the volunteer office like this
Happy Spring from the Easter Raptor
Example of volunteer office door
We are still having our volunteers enter their hours by hand in a book. I try to put a sign on the front of the book every month. Some are seasonal others are like this
This is one of the Defining moment signs…
Volunteer in Action Displays: This can be in a public area, a staff area, or a volunteer area Cheer Time
Volunteer Holiday Tree
Even having a bowl or two of candy can get expensive…especially if the staff thinks that they can share in it too! I send out an email about every three months reminding the staff that the “goodies’ in the volunteer office are for the volunteers. I also remind them that if they like a little treat every now and that’s fine, but every once in a while bring in a bag to help supplement the supply.
Pear.. It a -pear-apparent Pasta-tively great Gum: Stick to it, by Gum or Thank you for “chewsing” to volunteer with us. Soda: Soda you know how much we appreciate you We are “SODA”-lited that you are an AzMNH Volunteer!
National Volunteer week is usually the 3 rd week in April I’m lucky because as a municipal museum I am part of the City wide Volunteer management group. That organization has a lot more clout than just my our museum. And they really focus on doing things that week as a city
For two years now we have been able to have the Mayor make a proclamation during the City council meeting proclaiming Volunteer Week in the City of Mesa Last year I made each volunteer a replica of the proclamation This year I email a copy to everyone with a picture of the Mayor making the proclamation I also Put the tri fold out in our lobby on a table with volunteer brochures & had special treats in our volunteer office.
Continental Breakfast with the Director
At that time I was able to purchase the key chains for $.99 a piece, but with the set up and logo they came to $1.35.
The Fortunate Find card was attached to a little gold treasure box filled with little meltaway mints.
Presented Power Point on what it means to Go The Distance and gave examples of how our AzMNH Volunteers go the distance! I was also able to order water bottles with our logo on them for $3.00 a piece. At each place setting there was a water bottle and a gold medal I also created the “Cheerleader” at that recognition. I came out and did a cheer for all the different volunteer areas of the museum…the docents, museum store volunteers,…etc.
Our “Fun-derful Volunteers Inexpensive “fun” ways to recognize and reward volunteers! Yvonne Petersen – Volunteer Coordinator Arizona Museum of Natural History
Answer a need To feel good about one’s self Give back to the community Develop new talents Make new friends Learn new things deepen ones sense of belonging Set a good example Keep active Feel a sense of accomplishment Enrich one’s life Get Service learning hours
Any of us, including volunteers will work harder and give better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.
"Feeling appreciated is one of the most important needs that people have. When you share with someone your appreciation and gratitude, they will not forget you. Appreciation will return to you many times." Steve Brunkhorst
VOLUNTEERS aren’t paid because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS!
Give opportunities for volunteers to recognize the efforts of other volunteers
Above and Beyond Recognize a fellow volunteer who has gone the extra mile Name of volunteer Has gone Above and Beyond by: ___________________________________________________________ From________________ Form
Arizona Museum of Natural History Vocabulary Archaeology .SWAT: Southwest Archaeology Team Artifact AzMNH: Arizona Museum of Natural History AzMNH Foundation:. AzMNH Guild: Safety and Emergency Procedures Responsibilities of the Arizona Museum of Natural History Staff to Volunteer When you are no longer volunteering for the AzMNH you must turn in your Volunteer ID badge and your parking pass. Arizona Museum of Natural History Volunteer Orientation Volunteer Code of Ethics Volunteer Responsibilities and Expectations Your Rights as a Volunteer Parking Dress Code Public areas of the museum
Volunteers are the key to our success! You are the Key to Our Success With out you many doors & projects of the museum would have been shut. Your volunteer actions are the key that helps us keep them opened. Front of Invitation Key chain with the Museum Logo was attached to above card Use a theme
YOU A treasure map sent us searching for a jewel hard to find. One that’s truly priceless because it’s polished and refined. As you reveal your sparkling qualities it’s obviously true; X marks the spot for treasure and… ...the treasure is you!
Recognition # of hours given *Acknowledge 2 or more volunteers from one house hold.
Special recognition given by Director
Fun Skits done by staff
Slide show of volunteers
Present thoughts, poems or stories about volunteering
Inexpensive Event Gifts A champagne glass filled with Hershey's kisses -- write on the glass "A toast to a job well done!“ It looks very elegant Big Chocolate Bar Wrapped with Personal Message A framed quote relating to volunteerism for volunteers to put on their desk or hang on the wall. A small plant: “Thanks for continuing to help us grow!” Tape measure- It’s easy to measure the difference you’ve made at the AzMNH! You’re amazing!