Q. Are you scratching your head trying to come up with some effective ways to encourage your small group volunteers?
Writing a thank you note is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to let your volunteers know you appreciate them. Your words will inspire those who read them. If you don’t think a thank you note is effective, think again. We usually underestimate the impact it can have. Don’t let that stop you from sending out notes of thanks.
The Apostle Paul knew the importance of expressing thanks to others. He included a thank you message in his letters to churches. He found reasons to express thanks even when he had to deliver a difficult message. It was important that every person he wrote too, knew he appreciated them. It is an effective way to encourage others.
Q. So how do you write a thank you note that has an impact?
Consider these tips when getting out your pen and paper:
- Your thank you note doesn’t have to be long to have an impact. A few sentences written from the heart can be more encouraging and memorable than a longer letter.
- Handwrite the note. A note that is handwritten stands out.
- Allow your personality to flow out of your writing. Think of this as a personal note rather than business correspondence.
- Write legibly. It doesn’t matter if you write in cursive or print. Use the method that is the most legible. Your message will be lost if the recipient can’t read it.
- Use correct spelling, especially when writing the volunteer’s name.
- Use quality note cards when possible. I frequently look for sales at stationery stores and stock up so I always have quality note cards on hand without breaking the bank.
The Structure of an Encouraging Thank You Note:
Structure your note with these six parts in mind and you will have it written in very little time.
Start the thank you note by identifying the person being thanked. Write the greeting with the name they prefer to be called. Usually, you will use their first name only.
The greeting can be only their name or something like “Hi <name>”
#2. Thank the Recipient
I believe the Apostle Paul was great at expressing his thanks. He did it in a way that communicated his thanksgiving while also acknowledging God’s presence. He almost always wrote something like “I thank God for you…” (Philippians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:2)
Let the recipient know you appreciate him or her.
#3. A Reason Why
After expressing your thanks to the recipient, identify why you are thankful. Be as specific as possible.
If you are having a difficult time thinking of specific reasons, read “10 Reasons I am Thankful for Small Group Leaders” to kick-start some ideas.
There are many things people could be doing instead of volunteering with your small group ministry. So why do they volunteer? A big reason is that they want to make a difference.
Let your volunteers know how they are making a difference.
#5. Restate Your Thankfulness
Express again how appreciative you are for their involvement. You could write something like “I appreciate you” or “I’m excited you’re on my team.”
The closing can be as simple as signing your first name. Also, you can consider adding a salutation before your signature like “Yours in Christ” or “Thanks again”.
How to 10X the Impact of Your Thank You Note Activity:
If your volunteer lives with a spouse or parent, send the spouse or parent a thank you card. Let them know how thankful you are for their support of the volunteer’s efforts. Tell them how their loved one is making a difference.
You are now encouraging the key encouragers of your volunteers!
That is all there is to writing an effective thank you note. Now all you have to do is address the envelope and hand it to them or put it in the mail to be delivered to their mailbox.
Be sure to give these tips to your small group coaches and leaders so they can do the same for everyone they lead. It will boost the well-being of everyone in your small group ministry.