Volunteer Appreciation Speeches

Cheryl Cirelli
Contributor: Mary Gormandy White
Speakers shaking hands

It is essential to tell your volunteers you are grateful for their commitment to your cause and your organization's success is because of them. When making a speech, point out why volunteer work is so important and highlight how volunteering can contribute to the organization and the people served by its efforts.

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 of 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 the corresponding image. From there, you can make changes, save and print. See these helpful tips if you need assistance with the document.

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 are thinking is not always easy to do. There may be endless thoughts running through your head and many things you want to convey to your volunteers. When planning a speech, the best thing to do is brainstorm and jot down ideas as they come to you. Then you will want to organize your sentiments into a speech you will give at a recognition event or other special event where the volunteers will be in attendance.

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
  • Closing

Sample Poem and Quotes

For a special touch, begin or end your speech with a meaningful saying, such as an original volunteer appreciation poem or quote on volunteerism.

Tips for Effective Speeches

Don't just offer random thoughts on volunteering. 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 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. You can hold an appreciation event such as a luncheon or reception for the volunteers to attend and give out awards that recognize their efforts. This is also an opportunity to give a speech that verbalizes how important your volunteers are.

Volunteer Appreciation Speeches