Donation Thank You Ideas, Volunteer Profiles, and Icebreakers! | Track It Forward

Donation Thank You Ideas, Volunteer Profiles, and Icebreakers!

Written by Kasey Murphy

Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community Recap October 12-19

Everyone knows these are rough and unprecedented times for a lot of people! Checking in on others is a great way to showcase the community built within your organization. While it is important to check in on your volunteers and frequent members in the organization, it also might be a good idea to check in on your previous donors or current donors! 

Donors to your organization are such a fundamental part of your volunteer program and usually your organization as a whole. It may feel like you never get the chance to truly thank them, and you might be wanting to build more of a relationship with them. A great way to build a relationship with donors at this time is to have volunteers reach out to them! 

Not only is this a good way to be more comfortable with your donors, but it is also a great task to give volunteers who are wanting to be involved or need to feel engaged. But, how exactly can you start the process of getting volunteers to contact donors? And what should be said when giving a “Donation Thank You” call? 

That’s exactly what one of the Volunteer Coordinators in the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community had a question about. 

“Hi Everyone,
Question: is it a best practice to have volunteers call donors to say “thank you for your recent gift”, “how are you doing during this timeframe?”
I would say yes under that we just provide phone numbers and not address etc.
Would you agree? 
Thank you for your input.”

Obviously, donor information should not be shared widely and sometimes donors wish to remain anonymous. It is imperative that for “Donor Thank You” initiatives, the donor’s privacy and the volunteer’s trustworthiness is evaluated. 

Some Advice On Donation Thank You's From The Comments

  • “We did something like this one place I worked. We provided a brief script to work from and phone number only.” 
  • “I think checking in on them could be very powerful.”
  • “One recommendation I remembered (came from one of the volunteers calling  calling for us). Give out a mental health resource/phone line from your community to volunteers in case a donor says something worrying. That way the volunteer has a further resource to share which hopefully helps the volunteer in case that does happen.”
  • “We did this and our donors really appreciated the outreach.”
  • “It would not go down well with my follies, but I guess it depends on the situation.” 
  • “We did this and the donors loved it. So did the volunteers that made the calls. It was a win-win for us.” 
  • We think that this would be a wonderful idea to check in on donors and to just start to build a relationship with them! We also suggest having the same group of volunteers or the same volunteer contact the donors over time if you are focusing on the relationship-building aspect, and it is a good idea for not sharing phone numbers with multiple volunteers! 

If you would like to contribute to this conversation, comment here.

Resources For Thanking Donors 



Volunteer newsletters have been all the rage recently in the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community, and we understand why! They are a great idea for volunteer engagement during the pandemic. 

One Volunteer Coordinator in particular is planning on doing a volunteer profile in their monthly newsletter to help volunteers get to know each other better and to have interesting questions. 

 I'm looking at doing volunteer profile in the monthly newsletter. I'm looking for 5 questions that are good prompts for volunteers to give their answers. Ie. not yes/no questions. The organisation is a youth led environmental organisation. Volunteers are all ages.

Suggestions on Volunteer Profile Questions From The Comments: 

  • Has anything interesting happened to you while you were volunteering? 
  • What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering? 
  • What is the best part of volunteering for you? 
  • If you could pick one person to volunteer with who would it be? 
  • “Anything that might spark a conversation with other volunteers, like family, hobbies, where they went to school, etc.”
  • “In our Volunteer Spotlights, we ask these questions: How did you find out about us and what made you want to volunteer with us? What volunteer roles have you done with us? What is your favorite part of volunteering with us? What keeps you coming back? If you could ask the public for help in a specific area (money, volunteers, clothing, etc.), what would you ask of them? We always get awesome responses.”
  • We think you could ask some fun ones like: “Which celebrity do you think would be great at volunteering here.” Or “What skills or knowledge have you gathered from volunteering that help you in life?”

More Resources on Volunteer Profile Questions 

If you have any interesting volunteer questions or resources for creating volunteer profiles, let us know here! 



This last topic that was popular in the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community this week is one that we have all struggled with, the dreaded icebreaker questions. 

We know that when you have volunteer orientations, info sessions, or even just at meetings it is good to have a great volunteer icebreaker, get everyone feeling comfortable and to get to know each other better. But, sometimes the icebreakers can do the exact opposite. People feel forced to talk, can’t think of an answer, or it is just a bit awkward. 

As Volunteer Coordinators, it is a bit of your job to moderate the different meetings, make them a bit less uncomfortable and casual, and to help enhance the environment that the volunteers are working in. 

But, as some of the VC’s in the Facebook Group put it, many icebreaker questions can be cringey. 

Hi All!
What are your favorite team builders/ice breakers for volunteer meetings? (In person or virtual)

Comments About Icebreaker Questions 

  • “Sometimes I just ask people to talk about a news article or picture they have seen that meant something to them. It’s quite easy as almost everyone has something to talk about and it starts great conversations.”
  • “For more serious ones I like to ask, “Who inspires you to volunteer or give back?” It’s really sweet to hear them talk about people who are important to them. For more fun ones I ask, “Have you ever met anyone famous and how did you meet?” I get some really interesting stories!”
  • “If we were going to go on a road trip with you, what are 3 things we should know before we leave?”
  • “If you were hosting a late night talk show, who would be your first guest? (Dead or alive)”
  • “In person, I like doing an ice breaker bingo so people run around and ask each other random facts.” 

Resources About Icebreaker Questions 

If you have any fun icebreakers, comment here!