Words to Thank Volunteers

Updated February 19, 2020
Expressing thanks

Volunteers are worth their weight in gold. They share their time and talents without any compensation, so it's crucial to acknowledge their contributions and let them know they are valued. Thanking them can go a long way toward accomplishing this goal, so it's worth taking the time to find just the right words to show your appreciation.

Examples of Written Thank You Notes to Volunteers

Sending volunteers written thank you notes, cards, letters, or email messages gives them something they can hang on to and read again, especially during times when they begin feeling a bit drained. Your messages can become a constant source of encouragement that gives them the lift they need to continue donating their time and efforts. The following examples will give you an idea of how to word your thank you cards or email messages to volunteers.

Thank You to a Volunteer After an Event


Thank you so much with your hard work on the event committee for the recent silent auction fundraiser. With your help, this event brought in $15,000 to help support Local Nonprofit's efforts to ensure that all children have access to three nutritious meals every day. Local Nonprofit wouldn't be able to fulfill its mission of meeting the nutritional needs of the community's children without the generosity of volunteers like you.

Thanks for all that you do. Your willingness to give freely of your time and talent is greatly appreciated, and your efforts are making a difference in the community.

To a Volunteer That Works Directly With the Less Fortunate

Dear Marc,

The compassion you show to the people we serve is an inspiration for us all. I've noticed how you treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter what the situation is. We both know how stressful it can be for the people who find themselves in need of the services we provide, and your words and actions go a long way toward helping them keep their dignity. I just want you to know that your work hasn't gone unnoticed.

Thank you for all that you do.

To a Literacy Volunteer

Dear Sherry,

I wanted to let you know what an outstanding job I think you're doing with the children you work with. They really respond to you, and that's probably due to how patient you are with them. I can hear their reading skills improving and their confidence growing with each session, even with the ones that struggle the most. You have such a wonderful ability to meet each child at her ability level and work up from there. The children are so lucky to have you as a tutor, and so are we.

Thank you so much!

Volunteer teaching child to read

To a Volunteer That Sorts and Organizes Donations

Dear Reilly,

Thank you for helping sort and organize all the donations we have received these past few weeks. I know it has been a lot of work, but you've done a wonderful job keeping the inflow and outflow running smoothly. You're such an important part of our organization, and I hope you know that.

Thank you!

Examples of Saying Thank You Directly

Whether you're talking to a volunteer one-on-one or giving a volunteer thank you speech at an event, speaking from your heart is the best way to let your volunteers know that you recognize what they do for you and your cause. It's important to include details so the thank you message sounds as sincere as you mean it to be. Tailor what you say to an individual volunteer's role so it's more personal.

To a Volunteer Who Works in a Hospital

Mrs. Berg, thank you so much for generously donating your time and talent at General Hospital. The work that you do with the children and families of the pediatric ward is invaluable. Several families have mentioned to me how much your kindness and presence comforts them during the difficult situations they are facing. Your volunteer work makes such a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work.

Young hospital volunteer with patient

To a Volunteer That Works the Phones

Sheila, thank you so much for the wonderful job you do handling calls. I've heard from contributors and other volunteers how friendly, helpful, and professional you are, and that really inspires confidence in our organization. We're so lucky to have you.

Woman wear wireless headset video calling on laptop

To a School Volunteer

Mrs. Draper, thank you so much for volunteering to direct the school Christmas play. The show was wonderful, and the children really loved working with you. I know it was a lot of work, but I don't think anyone could have done a better job. We're so happy you shared your talents with us.

To a Volunteer Meal Provider

Carter, I really need to thank you for your meal donations to the families in our program. You're doing more than just filling their bellies. You're showing them that people do care, and that gives them hope. Sometimes hope is just what people need to try to change their lives.

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Composing Your Thank You Message

You can reword one of the examples above if it seems like a good fit for one of your volunteers, but it's really not difficult to find the right words to thank a volunteer. All you really need to do is clear your mind for a moment and give yourself a few minutes to think.

  1. Think about what your volunteer does for you or your organization.
  2. Focus on the areas where he or she really shines.
  3. Jot down some notes so you don't forget anything.
  4. Consider working in a volunteer appreciation quote or poem for a special touch.
  5. Write a rough draft, and make changes until it reads just the way you want it to.
  6. When the note is perfect, transfer it into a thank you card or other message format (such as a letter or email).
  7. If you prefer to talk with the volunteer and say thanks, you can use the note as practice for what you want to say.

When to Express Gratitude to Volunteers

It's always a good time to thank a volunteer, but there are times when it's especially appropriate. For example, it's especially appropriate to have some words prepared for a volunteer appreciation event, like a luncheon or dinner, as well as any time you present a volunteer with gift to show your appreciation.

  • For a one-time volunteer appreciation event, thank the volunteers in person near the close of the event.
  • Send a follow-up thank you card or email within one week of the event, so your gratitude doesn't seem "stale."
  • For volunteers that work with you on an ongoing basis, thank them whenever it seems appropriate, like when they come up with great ideas, complete a project, or go above and beyond your expectations.
    People appreciating ones work

Let Volunteers Know You Care

Always keep in mind that volunteers are not the same as employees. Their participation with your cause or organization is truly voluntary. They can choose to stay or walk away at any time without any real loss to themselves, and that's one reason why it's so important to communicate your appreciation. Volunteers are critical to the success of any nonprofit organization, so make sure you take time out of your day to thank them by reminding them of how special and valued they really are!

Words to Thank Volunteers