Ideas to Celebrate Volunteers in National Volunteer Month

Posted By: Melanie Campbell News,

Coalition members hosted more than 454,515 volunteers in 2023, creating a value of more than $14,400,000.

With such powerful numbers, here are some ideas for recognizing home repair volunteers throughout April (or all year round!).

While many organizations work with volunteers on their home repair program, there are a lot of other people to recognize throughout the month, including those who volunteer gifts, community partner agencies who make referrals, project funders, board members, ambassadors, and families of staff, whose support is often behind the scenes. 

Here are ways your home repair nonprofit can participate in National Volunteer Month:

Share Impact Data

Share powerful metrics such as total volunteers, value of volunteer hours, or hours by county. Share it to your digital audience via social media, infographics, or email. 


Establishing and maintaining an awards program is a great way to feature individuals and partner agencies throughout the month. Awards don’t need a plaque or trophy; consider a leftover piece of lumber with a personal note signed by staff, a tool from your trailers, or even a certificate. 

Awards can be customized to your needs; here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Volunteers serving above a certain number of hours, such as 20 hours, 50 hours, or 100 hours. Take it a step further and recognize tiered levels of hours. 

  2. Milestone groups - Recognize groups who served above a threshold of times throughout the year or have volunteered annually for a certain threshold of years.

  3. Volunteer of the Year - Recognize an outstanding individual for their volunteerism.

  4. Skilled Volunteer of the Year - Recognize 

  5. Company / Church of the Year - Recognize a group for their overall service and partnership.

  6. Advocate/Champion/Ambassador of the Year - Celebrate a person who champions your mission in the community

Celebrate awards at an event, on social media, in a newsletter, on a blog, or however meets your communications goals.

Staff or Board Member Videos

Appreciation is best when personal and genuine. If you don’t have time for a formal award program, you can ask staff to record a brief video about a volunteer who recently made a difference. It can be a quick 30 seconds. You can post these on social or text them directly to a volunteer. You can also apply this toward entities like corporate teams or churches that've gone above and beyond.


A written testimonial goes a long way to recognize volunteers who go above and beyond. Long-form testimonials make great blog posts, while shorter testimonials work well for social media. You can prompt for testimonials in a post-volunteer survey, so it’s easy to follow up with those who are ready to share more.

Supporter Appreciation Events

Whether it's a drop-in ice cream social or a causal BBQ, an event is a fun, celebratory way to recognize volunteers that doubles as a cultivation event. We recommend creating a ticket so people can RSVP. Your program can be brief and include award presentations or a networking program. It’s an excellent opportunity to engage those who volunteer their gifts alongside those who give their time. A donor can connect with a volunteer to help leverage their gift, so it goes even further whether you host it at your office, a local park, or a partner agency. 

Engage Donors in Volunteer Appreciation

Those who volunteer their gifts are still volunteering to help your organization. Here are some ways you can engage donors in National Volunteer Month:

  1. Ask them to present an award

  2. Attend a Supporter Appreciation Event

  3. Include Community Awareness Hours in Impact Metrics - spreading the word about your mission counts!

Implement Feedback 

If you have surveys or volunteer experience feedback, reviewing responses and implementing ideas shows that you listen and value feedback. Even if you can’t implement it right away or see challenges to an idea, most volunteers are happy to learn more about how the organization works - and what it might take to help your organization take your volunteer experience to the next level.

Many of these ideas can be implemented year-round, using National Volunteer Month to push new ideas off the ground. 

Ideas from Members

Thanks to those who submitted an idea for our volunteer appreciation idea survey. Here is what members said:

  • Thanking them personally during routine calls & emails.
  • Mary Maberry at Hammers of Hope shared, "I take a group photo during the build, then create thank you notes with that photo on the front which I mail out to each of the volunteers."
  • Saw this at the conference -one group uses scrap lumber, cut to the shape of a house with their logo branded/burned into the wood.
  • Original art, Thank you note 
  • Personal call when it was their first time. - Harold at Good Neighbors 
  • Free meal or post