Volunteer Appreciation Events
One of the fastest growing segments of our ministry is also one of the most rewarding. Over the last few years, Volunteer Appreciation Events have been growing in popularity and we get to be a part of a lot of them. For us, it is a real privilege to entertain, encourage, and assist churches in showing their gratitude to the men and women who serve.
So What Is a Volunteer Appreciation Event?
Unlike most of the events we do, these events are not evangelistic. They are fun, interactive, and joyful celebrations. Our role is to entertain and make everyone laugh. Occasionally, we are asked to “commission” the group with Scripture and an encouraging word, but for the most part, the night is geared to be fun.
Some churches provide “awards” at Volunteer Appreciation Events to thank people for exceptional service or sacrifice. Most are serious but we’ve seen several churches insert a funny, tongue-in-cheek award to one of their good-natured leaders or volunteers. Many times, our comedians and illusionists are heavily involved in planning and delivering that award in a fun way. Jaron Myers, one of our favorite comedians for these types of events, will often create a special video or a “fake” billboard for social media to bring a personal touch to his events. Sometimes, there is a good three minute pause in the show while waiting for the laughter to subside.
3 First Steps to Hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Event?
It’s really easy. We’ve found the following to be the most simple steps to putting on something memorable and fun:
- Step 1: Call the Entertainer / Speaker you want to host – Most people do this later but be aware that the speaker or entertainer is often more available and can be less expensive on dates when they’re already in your area or on a slow time of the month or of the week such as Mondays and Tuesdays. Call first to gather your most affordable options
- Step 2: Determine your budget for food, decorations, speaker/entertainment, awards, and gifts.
- A typical budget might be:
- Food – $10 / head – (catered by local restaurant). Just a note… make it easy. You should NOT make your volunteers work this day!
- Decorations – $25 per table
- Speaker / Entertainment – $1,900 – $15,000. Yes, I realize $15k is a lot. This is likely a very large church that chooses this option to host a popular speaker or comedian. You may want to land in the $1,900 – $4,900 range. Keep in mind, this should include travel, food, lodging, and local ground transport. Also, it saves a lot of work if you do not try and do a full band as that would likely require a lot of extra work from your staff and volunteers.
- Awards – Assuming 10 awards, you could invest $20-$300 here. Or, just print fun certificates that are much less expensive.
- Gifts – This can be anything from gift cards to thank you cards so the cost can be $5 – $50 per person.
- A typical budget might be:
- Step 3: Choose Your Date – When can most people attend? Can we provide childcare that night? (do not use volunteers for childcare. Hire an outside group you trust).
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