The 5 Languages of Appreciation

Guest post by Lena Budd, GSWNY Volunteer Experience Manager

During April, we’re celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Month! As someone who works directly with so many of our volunteers (I’m one of the friendly faces from our Rochester office) I see the impact that a simple thank you has on people from our  wonderful troop co-leaders, to our dedicated Service Unit team members, and to all other incredible volunteers!

It’s very easy to tell someone thank you, but did you know that most people prefer to be thanked in specific ways? Some people love applause and public accolades while others really do not like to have the spotlight put on them. So how do you go about thanking someone?

First, let’s talk about a breakdown of appreciation methods. This information is from a favorite book of mine, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. You might be familiar with the concept of Five Love Languages – this book gives you the tools to thank staff and volunteers in professional settings.

This handy infographic breaks down the 5 methods.

Let’s explain each of these a little more since the infographic doesn’t answer it all.

  1. Tangible Gifts

Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be valuable! Some tangible gift ideas include awards and pins, gift cards, and handmade gifts.

  1. Acts of Service

This means showing up and helping to get the job done! To some people, getting your hands dirty in times of need shows more appreciation than sending a thank you card later.

  1. Physical Touch 

Physical touch, when appropriate, can be very meaningful! I call this the 3 H’s – hug, handshake, or high five! Other forms of showing thanks through physical touch include fist bumps or pats on the back.

I wrote this blog post a while ago under difference circumstances. This is still an important part of this book, but now that we are practicing social distancing please refrain from physical touch. This is something you can instead change over to a virtual hug or high five using tools like FaceTime, Zoom meeting, or other video conferencing apps.

  1. Quality Time

This is most meaningful when it is personal, focused time. This can can be hanging out or working together. Grab coffee, go to lunch, or attend an event together! Make sure the activity your doing is meaningful to the person you are thanking. For example, don’t take a non-coffee drinker to Starbucks! 

  1. Words of Affirmation

Oral or written thank you’s! The most common form of words of affirmation is a thank you card! Words of affirmation can be done publicly or privately, however remember that not many people actually enjoy public praise.

Now, how do you go about actually putting these 5 languages into action? Easy! Get to know the people you volunteer with and ask them what they like best! Pro-tip: people tend to give thanks the way the like to get thanked. Do they always send you a thank you card after an event? This person’s preferred language is Words of Affirmation. Does this person like to go out to coffee and chat? Their language of appreciation is Quality Time.

What do you think is your preferred language of appreciation? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Thank you!!

Let’s celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Did you know April is Volunteer Appreciation Month? This is a great time of year to thank the volunteers in your life for the services they provide to you or your Girl Scouts.

All across our WNY council, we give heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers! From the folks who come in a couple times a month to assist our accounting department all the way to the troop co-leaders who run troop meetings and chaperone events… every volunteer is awesome and important!

Girl Scouts is a volunteer-run organization. Volunteers make it possible to continue our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character during this difficult time with their support, flexibility, and dedication. We hope to make all of our wonderful volunteers feel the virtual love this month and all year long! This month we will be sending communications by email with thank-you messages, but we also want to provide you with ways to thank volunteers yourself!

We have 3 different cards available for download from our website. Please note: if the card opens in your browser window instead of downloading, you need to save it to your computer, then open your saved file. If you type into the browser window, then hit save, most browsers will erase what you’ve typed.

Click here to download this card.
Click here to download this card.
Click here to download this card.

Also, be sure to visit our Facebook page on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 3:12pm. Lena Budd, Volunteer Experience Manager will be doing a Facebook Live making thank you cards for volunteers. (After the broadcast ends, will also be sharing the video to YouTube and Instagram.)

How do you show thanks? Leave a comment saying who you’re thanking or how you’re thanking someone!

P.S. This is more than a Girl Scout volunteer holiday! Consider showing your appreciation for volunteers in other organizations as well, such as healthcare, human rights, or public services (libraries, schools, places of worship, etc.).

Today, we remember and honor all Veterans

This Veterans Day, we salute all of the servicemen and servicewomen who keep our country safe each and every day, especially our Girl Scout sisters.

From sending Girl Scout Cookies overseas to marching in military parades, Girl Scouts all over the country send support to military servicemen and women all year long.

Darya from Troop 30079 delivering donated Girl Scout cookies to Frontiersmen VFW POST 7545 Tonawanda NY

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!

April is one of our favorite months of the year because it’s a special time to thank the everyday heroes in the lives of our Girl Scouts – our volunteers! While we love and appreciate them (and you!) every day, April is a special time to show our gratitude.

We know that without our volunteers, our girls wouldn’t develop into
G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™. They help our girls unleash their most confident selves and transform them into a force for good. They take our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to heart and apply it in all they do.

All year long, our volunteers make meaningful and inspiring contributions to our movement and we’re so thankful they choose to dedicate their time to preparing Girl Scouts for a lifetime of leadership. Our program makes a difference, and it’s because of how hard our volunteers work and care.

They say not all heroes wear capes, but ours wear the passion for what they do as a notable indicator that they’re Girl Scout volunteers. And yes, some of ours wear vests and patches!

More than just us thanking you, we know how grateful our members are for our volunteers, which is why we have the option for you to thank volunteers as well!

All month long, show your favorite Girl Scout volunteer how much they mean to you with a straight-from-the-heart, personalized ecard. Choose from four predesigned templates. Just fill in the blank to finish the sentence, and share your ecard with them on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email!

Also during National Volunteer Week (April 7–13) you can head over to FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, to show love for your favorite Girl Scout volunteer by sharing what makes them so special to you. Be sure to mention all the ways you support them throughout the year too. And remember to tag @girlscouts and use #NVW2019 so we can follow the love!

As a token of our appreciation, you can save this month at our online store. Use code VOLUNTEER19 for 15% off* one item from our online store, the Girl Scout Shop, and bring a smile to a volunteer’s face! Or pick up something new for yourself. We can say with confidence you’ve definitely earned it!

Not a Girl Scout volunteer?

It’s not too late to embark on this incredible adventure! If you’re looking for ways to have a powerful, lasting influence on girls in your community, we’d love to chat.Volunteer Now!

*The code is active April 1 through April 30, 2019, for 15% off one item from a customer’s order. The 15% discount will be applied to the highest priced item in an order. If a customer buys two or more of the same item that the discount applies to, the 15% will only be taken off one item. The code is for one-time use per customer, online only at girlscoutshop.com. 

Thank you for making #GivingTuesday a success!

We want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in #GivingTuesday and made it an overwhelming success, both for Girl Scouts of Western New York and the non-profit world as a whole. 

Early results indicate that donations increased by nearly 40% over last year, for a total of $380 million raised in the United States. For those who gave to any charity, you were on of an estimated 3.6 million to donate. Talk about good company.  

At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we saw both our number of donors and amount raised increase and we couldn’t be more excited. In fact, the total amount increased by more than 500%! 

Words cannot express how grateful we are our supporters. Every donation helps us keep working toward our goal of building future female leaders. You’re helping to change the world, one dollar at a time. 

Thank you.