When you're hosting an event to recognize volunteers or giving a speech after an event, it's important to let those who helped know just how much you appreciate their dedication to your cause. After all, the success of your organization really hinges on their hard work and commitment.
While the focus of the speech is thanking volunteers, it can also be the perfect time to highlight how volunteering can contribute to the organization and how volunteers impact those they serve. These tips and samples can help send the perfect message of appreciation and inspiration.
Sample Volunteer Appreciation Speeches
If you need to write a volunteer appreciation speech and aren't quite sure where to start, use these sample speeches as a guide. One is focused on thanking volunteers for giving their time and talents, while the other is designed to be presented as a speech to volunteer committee members who worked together on a special event or project.
To open each speech as an editable PDF document, click on the corresponding image. From there, you can make changes, save, and print. See these helpful tips if you need assistance with the document.
Basic Volunteer Appreciation Speech
You matter. You make a difference. Your great generosity has had a profound and lasting impact on [insert the cause or population served by the volunteers being recognized]. Your willingness to share both your time and your talent by volunteering with [insert the organization's name] says a lot about each of you as human beings. Your willingness to give selflessly to help others speaks to both your strength and the quality of your character.
When you volunteer, you are making a commitment to share that most precious of resources — your time — to make life better for those who are in need. The fruits of your labors make a tangible impact, of course, but perhaps it is the fact that you are willing to share your time and talent to lend a helping hand and to show kindness and caring that makes the greatest difference in the lives of the individuals who are touched by your generosity.
While I know that you choose to volunteer selflessly and without expectation of being recognized or rewarded, today I wish to do just that. I want to let you know just how much your dedication is appreciated and to make sure that everyone at [insert name of organization] is forever grateful to each of you. Whether you are a long-time volunteer or if you got involved fairly recently, and regardless of how many hours you choose to give, it's important for you to know that what you do makes a difference.
Words cannot adequately express the gratitude that I, and the board and staff of [insert organization] wish to convey. Please know that your volunteerism is recognized, appreciated, valued, and cherished. We thank you and look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.
Volunteer Appreciation Speech for a Committee
Thank you so much for serving on the [insert event title] committee this year. As you know, this event is [insert name of organization]'s primary fundraiser. This event is a major undertaking that is made possible only by the efforts of each of you, working individually and in concert as a team committed to organizing, promoting, and hosting a successful event.
Thanks to your hard work and dedication, this year's [name of event] raised [insert dollar amount], all of which will be earmarked to provide financial support for [specify how the money will be used] throughout the coming year. This marks an increase over last year's total of [insert percentage], a significant accomplishment that can be directly attributed to the hard work, dedication, determination, and creativity exhibited by this year’s committee.
Please know how very much your participation on the [insert name of event] committee and your dedication to [insert organization name] is appreciated. Every single contribution made by every single team member made a difference and contributed to the event’s success. The success of this event will allow the group to [specify objective(s) to be accomplished] in the coming year. On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my great pleasure — and my great honor — to say thank you.
Expressing Appreciation to Volunteers
Of course, even if you use one of the templates as a starting point, you still have to adjust the wording to your situation. Saying what you're thinking is not always easy to do. There may be many things you want to convey to your volunteers.
When planning the speech, the best thing to do is brainstorm and jot down ideas as they come to you. Then organize your sentiments into the speech you'll give at a recognition event or other special event where the volunteers will be in attendance.
A whiteboard can help you visualize the points of your speech.
What to Include
The purpose of a volunteer appreciation speech is to praise your volunteers for the work they do for your cause. You will want to include a general thank you and perhaps even thank outstanding volunteers personally in the speech.
Some points to include in your speech:
- Opening and welcome
- Reasons the volunteers are important to your organization
- Mention any successes or accomplishments of your organization this year and credit it to the volunteers
- Tell a story about how volunteer efforts are impacting the community or cause
- Recognize an outstanding volunteer
- Give an award or a series of awards
- Express heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers who give so much of themselves and expect so little in return
Tips for Effective Speeches
Don't just offer random thoughts on volunteering, or your audience may get lost and not be able to follow what you are saying. When preparing for your speech, consider the following for maximum effectiveness:
- Be yourself and speak from the heart.
- Be sure to speak clearly and slowly.
- Adjust the volume of the microphone for the size of the room and use a podium.
- Go with a theme to tie your speech together.
- Use quotes or a poem in the speech for a special touch.
- Make a joke to lighten the mood of the room.
- Know your audience and tailor your speech to them.
Whatever you say, it's important to try to inspire your volunteers so they will continue to serve your organization and work for your cause. A speech is also an opportunity to ask for their continued support and a great way to get your current core of volunteers to bring in new people to join in your mission.
Show Your Appreciation
Showing your volunteers that you recognize their efforts and appreciate all their hard work is important for any organization. Since many volunteers are the backbone of organizations and do a lot without expecting anything in return, they deserve to be recognized. Use your speech to convey your heartfelt thanks to all those who give their time and talents.