There seems to be so much emphasis and focus on how to improve your non-profit boards, but what if they have done a great job? Acknowledging your outgoing board members is an important part of continuing your mission. They need to know that their efforts are appreciated. After all, they gave their time, talent, and money to help serve your organization. This is also important for current board members and potential board members to see. They will be more inclined to serve an organization who takes the time to recognize the hard work of its members. Saying “thank you” is a start, but here are seven great ways to show your outgoing board members how much you appreciate them.

Public Recognition

Everyone appreciates a little acknowledgment for their efforts so take advantage of the opportunity to publicly thank any outgoing board members in front of staff, colleagues, and peers. Make it personal by taking some time to write a short speech about how their efforts have helped the organization. These moments foster teamwork and unity and are much appreciated by the board members.

Invite the Members to Say Thank You

Depending on the organization, there are times when the members of the association can be a part of recognizing board members. Having the people who have actually been affected by the board member’s work can be a truly meaningful way to express gratitude. This can be done through collecting thank you letters to give to the board member or organizing special group recognition during an event to surprise them.

Hand Written Gratitude Cards

There is just something about a hand-written note that is more personal and meaningful. The executive director or association’s president can make quite an impact when they take the time to write a personal “thank you” note.  The outgoing member will feel appreciated when the head of the organization takes the time to thank them for their hard work.

Host a Thank You Party

These board members have given freely of their time and talent and it is because of their willingness to volunteer that your organization can continue its mission.  This is worthy of a nice “thank you.” Have a lunch, dinner, or cocktail party just to acknowledge their efforts and say thank you.  It is a kind gesture that will be much appreciated.

Brag on Them

You can thank your board members in a unique way when you write a Letter to the Editor bragging about the contributions of your board members. It is a thoughtful way to express gratitude and it will also be encouraging for future board members.

Name Something After Them

Perhaps you have a long time dedicated board member who has served for many years. A simple “thank you” might not seem like enough. Carry on their name and their dedication by naming something after them. It doesn’t have to be a physical building – it could be a scholarship, program, activity, or event.

Give a Plaque or Certificate

Another great way to express gratitude for the hard work of board members is to present them with a certificate or plaque at the end of their term. This is a simple way to show how much you appreciate them and it also provides a nice keepsake of the organization which has meant so much to them.

The people working for your organization and helping move your mission forward deserve your appreciation. Find a way to show your gratitude and make sure you acknowledge their service to your organization.