I know you’re tired. I know you might want to close your eyes and forget things for a while. You deserve that.

And the world keeps spinning, so….let’s think about those people working alongside you who are volunteering to serve.

I know you’re grateful for them.

Did you know demonstrating gratitude is good for both you and the recipient*?


  • Makes you at least 25% happier
  • Decreases stress and depression
  • Improves sleep
  • Boosts self-esteem and performance
  • Increases contentment in relationships
  • Boosts immunity and decreases risk of disease

In addition to practicing gratitude personally (meditation, gratitude journal, etc.), let’s show some gratitude OUT LOUD for your board!

4 Ways to Appreciate Your Board

After all, not only do they invest financially, but they share their expertise and talent, contribute time away from work and family, serve as ambassadors in the community – all in an effort to advance your mission.

These volunteers are your trusted partners. Let’s be sure they know how much you value their service.

1. Let them hear from your peeps. Have someone who has benefited from your services call board members to thank them for their leadership. Or make a cool video about how their life has changed. Or maybe they could write/draw handwritten cards saying how the board’s dedication has changed their lives. Hearing a personal story is very powerful.

2. Host a social just to say thanks. Depending on what the preference is of your board, this could be an informal BBQ in the backyard or a nearby park. It could be a ballgame, but be sure to allow for socializing before or after. You could have a cocktail reception.  You could give out awards.  Make it fun and sincere.

Two rules at this event: no business allowed other than an expression of gratitude, and be sure to invite significant others.

3. Leverage technology.  I guess an upside from the pandemic is we learned how effective digital technologies are. You can send individual or group thanks by creating a video of a heartfelt thank you – by you, donors, staff or the beneficiaries of your work or all of the above. Or create a collage of digital impact photos and craft a meaningful message.

Consider this: Boast about your board in your email blasts and on social media! Inexpensive, yet meaningful.

4. Give them some swag. Now before you roll your eyes, trust me on this. You have to be thoughtful because not everyone likes a mug or pen or sweatshirt. So pay attention or ask around and order a few inexpensive items with your logo on it. Wine glasses? Themed gift basket? (A quick online search will provide many options).  By the way, customized swag serves a dual purpose as PR for your organization too.

Too often our boards get overlooked when it comes to recognition. Most of them say they don’t want it because that’s not why they serve. (This is a good role for the Governance committee to take on – board recognition).

But – what we know is that they sure deserve some gratitude and will actually appreciate it too.

Now go on out there and make a volunteer feel special. I can’t wait to hear what else you come up with!


*information curated from several sources, including the Mayo Clinic