How to Write the Perfect Thank You Letter to Volunteers

And while they don’t sacrifice their time, energy, and talents for recognition, writing thank you letters to formally acknowledge (and show gratitude for) their efforts is good practice for your nonprofit.Â

This article covers everything you need to know about writing a thank you letter to volunteers.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many charitable organizations. They graciously donate their time and talents to support your cause. That’s why sending heartfelt thank you letters is so important.

Thanking volunteers makes them feel truly appreciated. It strengthens their connection with your organization and motivates them to give even more.

In this article, I’ll share tips to help you create meaningful thank you letters that will wow your volunteers.

Why Send Volunteer Thank You Letters?

Beyond just being polite. here are some key reasons to send thank you letters to your volunteers

  • Shows your gratitude for their gift of time,

  • Makes volunteers feel valued and acknowledged.

  • Strengthens their relationship and loyalty to your cause

  • Increases the chance they will volunteer again.

  • Provides documentation if volunteers need it.

  • Gives you an opportunity to update them on your organization’s impact.

  • Allows you to politely ask for feedback on their experience.

Don’t just send a quick email. Take the time to make your thank you letters special for each volunteer.

When Should You Send Thank You Letters?

Timeliness is important when showing your appreciation. Here’s when to send volunteer thank yous:

  • Right after an event or project completion – when it’s fresh

  • On annual anniversaries of their first volunteering with your organization

  • After volunteers hit milestones like hours volunteered or years of service

  • During the holidays as an end-of-year gratitude gesture

  • When volunteers increase their commitment like taking on an additional role

You want the positive experience to be top of mind when they receive your note.

Best Practices for Writing Volunteer Thank You Letters

Follow these best practices when composing your thank you letters:

  • Personalize the Message – Use their name, reference specific contributions, include customized details.

  • Be Specific – Note exact outcomes, highlights, or quotes you recall rather than a generic letter.

  • Show Emotion – Express how you felt seeing the impact on those you serve.

  • Use Handwritten Notes – Handwritten letters carry more meaning and are rare today.

  • Add Photos or Videos – Include shots of the volunteer in action or program participants.

  • Send Promptly – Get letters out within two weeks of the volunteer activity to maximize impact.

  • Have Leadership Sign – Consider having your executive director, board chair, or a program leader sign for extra influence.

  • Use Brief Stories – Share one sentence anecdotes that illustrate the difference volunteers made.

  • Highlight Cause Marketing – Note any media coverage, social media engagement, or partner support generated.

  • End with a Clear Call-to-Action – Provide next steps to get involved again.

These tips will level up your thank you letters. Avoid just sending a generic “thanks for volunteering” message. Create unique, memorable notes.

Helpful Thank You Letter Templates

While personalizing is best, templates can provide helpful starting points or inspiration. Here are two volunteer thank you letter examples:

Sample 1

Dear [name],

I wanted to send you a quick note to express my deep thanks for volunteering with [organization] over this past weekend. Our Adopt a Highway event was the most successful yet, with over 500 pounds of trash collected! We never could have done it without wonderful community members like you.

I know your Saturday mornings are precious time with your family, so I appreciate you choosing to spend a few hours with us even more. Seeing you work alongside staff and other volunteers with a smile sent such a great message about the power of service. And I know the work gloves you brought for everyone came in handy for those picking up sharper objects.

[Your name]

Sample 2

Dear [name],

On behalf of everyone at [organization], I want to thank you for co-chairing our annual gala last month. As our largest fundraising event of the year, it was crucial that the gala go smoothly – and it certainly did. We’ve already heard so many compliments!

Planning an event this large takes immense time and dedication. From securing auction items, to managing invites, to arranging catering and entertainment, you poured your heart into this over six months of preparation. And it showed in every thoughtful detail during the event itself. Your hard work played a pivotal role in making the night an incredible success.

I also wanted to share that this year’s gala proceeds broke our record, raising over $75,000! We never could have achieved this milestone without your stellar leadership and coordination. Thanks to supporters like you, we can continue expanding our mentorship program and changing young lives.

Use these templates as inspiration then customize your own thank you letters.

Personalize for Each Volunteer

To take your thank you notes to the next level, personalize each letter with:

  • Specific skills, talents or items the volunteer contributed. (“Your graphic design skills made our flyers stand out!”)

  • A highlight the volunteer would uniquely appreciate. (“I know managing parking is your ministry – you handled it flawlessly.”)

  • A brief story or quote showing the volunteer’s impact. (“One participant said your welcome made her feel immediately at ease.”)

  • Details on any media coverage, social media engagement or donors acquired through their efforts. (“That selfie you posted was our most liked Instagram photo this year!”)

  • Future opportunities you hope they’ll engage with. (“I’d love for you to share your sales expertise in an upcoming workshop.”)

  • A memorable moment or funny anecdote from the event. (“The kids reciting your jokes at breakfast proves you’re the funniest volunteer around!”)

Add just 1-2 personalized elements like these to elevate your note and recognize each volunteer’s contribution.

Make Your Thank You Letters Stand Out

Along with personalization, try these extra touches:

  • Send a handwritten letter for more meaningful impact.

  • Include personalized photos of the volunteer at your event.

  • Attach customized cards, drawings or notes from those served by the organization.

  • Mail your letter with a small gift like branded pens, magnets or stickers.

  • Use colored paper or card stock to make your note pop.

  • Hand deliver the letter and thank you gift, if appropriate.

  • Record a short video thank you message.

  • Send e-cards they can digitally share on social media.

  • Invite volunteers to an appreciation dinner or reception.

Look for small ways to make your gratitude special and memorable.

Sample Thank You Letter to Customize

Use this template as a starting point then tailor it to each volunteer:

Dear [Name],

I wanted to reach out with immense gratitude for your volunteer work with [organization] on [event or project]. Whether this was your first time volunteering or your 50th, we so appreciate you giving your time, skills, and energy to further our mission.

In particular, your contributions to [key tasks performed] were invaluable in helping make the event a success. [Share 1-2 sentence story or examples showcasing their impact.] We simply couldn’t have done it without you. I hope you realize just how many lives you touched through your efforts.

Our volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our organization. By selflessly sharing your talents with us, you join a passionate community of change-makers. On behalf of our entire team, I want to thank you for so generously standing alongside us as we [mission].

I also want to update you on some key outcomes thanks to supporters like you…

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever return the favor in any way. I sincerely hope we’ll have the chance to collaborate again soon.

With gratitude,
[Your name]

Customizing your thank you letters to show volunteers their unique impact is worth the extra effort. Follow up verbally in-person when possible too. A handwritten card also means more in our digital age.

By making volunteers feel truly appreciated, you’ll retain them longer while attracting new supporters through positive word-of-mouth. Outstanding thank you letters demonstrate your organization’s sincerity and thoughtfulness.

Recognizing Volunteers Year-Round

Don’t limit volunteer recognition to just thank you letters. Look for ongoing ways to express appreciation:

  • Spotlight volunteers on social media and in communications.

  • Send birthday and holiday e-cards.

  • Invite volunteers to participate in special events or tours.

  • Host an annual volunteer appreciation dinner.

  • Profile a “Volunteer of the Month”.

  • Offer discounts

how to write thank you letter for volunteering

Thank you for a committee/event volunteer

Thank you for your hard work on the [committee/event name]! With your help, this event brought in [$ amount] to help support our [type of work]

[Organization name] wouldnt be able to fulfill our mission of [mission] without the commitment and generosity of volunteers like you.

Thank you for all that you do for and alongside us! We are grateful for your willingness to give your time and talents!

[Your name and title]

→ Check out our list of 80 community service ideas for nonprofit organizations and individuals!

how to write thank you letter for volunteering

Your volunteers help your nonprofit in innumerable ways.

You could never repay every volunteer for the time and energy they donate to your organization.

But you can say thank you.Â

Writing a thank you letter to your volunteers is a simple yet profound way to show gratitude for their selfless generosity.

If you’ve got volunteers serving your nonprofit, send a thank you letter today!

how to write thank you letter for volunteering

3 volunteer thank you letter templates

how to write thank you letter for volunteering

At Anedot, we know you balance many plates as you manage your organization.

Thank you notes should inspire gratefulness and joy because they’re a sign that you have a team of people willing to spend their time and energy supporting your cause.

But getting started with thank you letters can feel daunting, especially when your never-ending to-do list feels a mile long.

We have compiled three helpful thank you letter templates.

Follow these great templates to show your volunteers the thankfulness and appreciation you feel.Â

Volunteer Appreciation: A Guide to Thanking Your Volunteers

What is a volunteer thank you letter?

Volunteer thank you letters are letters organizations send to people who volunteer their time and energy in support of that organization’s cause. Since volunteers contribute so much to nonprofits despite being unpaid, organizations use volunteer thank you letters to show their appreciation. Why Are Volunteer Thank You Letters Important?

Should you send a thank you email to volunteers?

Sending a thank-you email may be easier, but it may not be the best way to reach your volunteers. When communicating with volunteers, nonprofits should take the time to write and mail a thank you letter or card. These cards can be less traditional and formal than donor acknowledgments.

How often should you send a thank you letter for volunteering?

Aim to make sending thank you letters for volunteering into a habit. Depending on the size of your organization and how many volunteers you have, consider sending at least one letter per day or week to different volunteers.

What if you don’t thank your volunteers?

If you don’t thank your volunteers for their help, then they probably won’t be too inclined to help out again. Building a strong base of volunteers will make your events and operations run more smoothly and efficiently, and volunteer thank you letters are a great way to ensure supporters keep coming back to help.

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