The 25 Greatest Volunteer Quotes to Uplift and Inspire Your Team (2023)

Team Golden

Share this page on LinkedIn Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page via Email

Volunteer quotes from famous people, iconic organizations, or anonymous wordsmiths can be amazing tools to share a sentiment with your volunteers or encourage them to support your cause.

Joseph Heller said, “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Sometimes the best writing strategy is to use someone else’s words. Even the best writers are stuck on what to say to convey their message. Quotes can add a spark to your narrative that connects better to the reader.

The best volunteer management strategy is one filled with regular, meaningful communication. Sometimes you can’t think of much else to say, and that’s normal. This is why we put together this list of the greatest volunteer quotes, to help communicate your message to your volunteers when your own words do not seem like enough. You can write out different messages for different moods, and even use tech tools like Golden’s volunteer management software to automate your messages.

Volunteer Quotes for When You Want to Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation is difficult in any circumstance, even for the people closest to us. That is why volunteer quotes already said by others can be a real help to any nonprofit manager. These are some of our favorites. (Here also are more volunteer appreciation ideas).

(Video) 6 Ways to Motivate Your Team | Brian Tracy

  1. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” This is from Aesop’s The Lion and the Mouse. In the story, a lion traps a mouse, but instead of eating him, he releases him from a pure act of kindness. The mouse later comes across the lion trapped, tied in ropes. He chews through the ropes and frees the lion to return the kindness. This is a great volunteer quote for when your team might feel their contribution was small (an hour donated, a quick call made in your favor, or some other “small” deed). Every act of volunteerism and kindness is worthwhile and appreciated.
  2. “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” This is by Elizabeth Andrew, an American author. This volunteer quote is iconic because it encapsulates the concept that the time that volunteers give is valuable and deeply appreciated by your organization.
  3. “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. Thank you.” This is attributed to Joseph Addison, English political writer and poet. This quote is a simple way for a nonprofit manager to show their appreciation for taking on a role that alleviates the workload of the team.

Using Volunteer Quotes to Inspire

The 25 Greatest Volunteer Quotes to Uplift and Inspire Your Team (1)

One of the most difficult writing tasks is trying to inspire people to work. If they aren’t getting paid, it is even more difficult. This is why volunteer quotes can be a great help for moments when you want to inspire your service team.

  1. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This is accredited to Margaret Mead, anthropologist and humanitarian. This is one of the most used volunteer quotes in the United States for a good reason. It’s motivational, aspirational, and makes a person want to act.
  2. "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” This quote is by Mother Teresa. You want your volunteers to think that even their small acts have a great impact. No quote is better than this one to make a person feel needed and important, even for small tasks. Every ounce of help matters!
  3. “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” The author of this powerful quote is unknown. It is still widely published because it is a fantastic way to express to volunteers that their work is powerful and has an impact beyond their direct outputs.

Golden knows that your volunteers are worth their weight in gold! That’s why, with us, you get Karats – a social currency that recognizes the contribution of your volunteers in a unique way. Check it out.

Get Started

Some Volunteer Quotes from Famous People to Engage and Motivate

You can never go wrong with using volunteer quotes by famous politicians and celebrities. Famous people are famous for a reason — people like what they have to say.

  1. “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” This quote is by Martin Luther King, Jr. There is a reason why Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a National Day of Service in America. He has dozens of volunteer quotes attributed to him, as one of the most outspoken and inspiring voices ever on the subject.
  2. “It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” This is by the Dalai Lama.
  3. “Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” This is by U.S. President William J. Clinton.
  4. “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” This is attributed to Tom Brokaw of NBC News. This is a great quote for corporate volunteering programs or groups that need a more generic yet impactful statement.
  5. “I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” This is from Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist.

    The 25 Greatest Volunteer Quotes to Uplift and Inspire Your Team (2)

Different Volunteer Quotes Depending on Organization Type

People have made some amazing comments specific to different fields of nonprofit work. Here are the top picks.

  1. “Firemen never die; they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved.” This is from Susan Diane Murphree. This is a famous volunteer quote to show appreciation to firemen.
  2. “Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that’s the point. Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune.” This is by the English poet Francis Quarles, and is a great quote for first responders.
  3. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” This is by Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations. This is a meaningful quote for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, which rely on volunteers to build and create.
  4. “It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.” This is from American actor Joaquin Phoenix.
  5. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” By Gandhi, this is another great animal rights quote that has an even deeper impact.
  6. “Charity knows neither race nor creed.” This is from the Talmud, Gittin. It is a famous Jewish quote celebrating the universality of giving back as a spiritual endeavor.
  7. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” This is from The Bible, Acts 20:35.

Volunteer Quotes for a Lighter Moment

If you’re looking for volunteer quotes to generate a laugh or a heart swell, here are 4 choices.

  1. “Ain’t Nothin’ to It, But to Do it!” - A second quote by Maya Angelou.
  2. “Volunteers are paid in six figures — S-M-I-L-E-S.” - Attributed to Gayla Lemaire.
  3. “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” - By Sherry Anderson
  4. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” - By Muhammad Ali, American boxer.

When You Need Words to Celebrate Heroes

Volunteer quotes often are the best way to show appreciation to heroes, or show appreciation for heroes to volunteers helping them.

  1. “Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant epochs in the biography of souls.” This quote is by David Thomas, a Welsh preacher. This is a great hero celebration quote, with multiple applications.
  2. “We can all be heroes: in our virtues, in our homes, in our lives.” This is by author James Ellis.
  3. “Heroes in history seem to us poetic because they are there; but if we should tell the simple truth of some of our neighbors, it would sound like poetry.” This is by George William Curtis, American writer and public speaker.

More About the Importance of Inspiring Regularly with Great Volunteer Quotes

Volunteering is one of the most meaningful experiences a person can have, combating depression and loneliness and making people feel connected to their community. That is why it has become so important to offer volunteer opportunities, especially at the corporate level.

If you’re a nonprofit that is tasked with communicating regularly to corporate volunteers to recruit and/or retain them, you may find you are stretched for communication ideas. This is a great place to integrate volunteer quotes and stories to make your work more compelling and stand out. You can use a tool like Golden, which has the industry’s best corporate volunteer management software, to streamline your communications and track impacts.

In fact, Golden can help you save 90% of your administration time by streamlining your CRM platforms. It applies Salesforce volunteer management strategies to integrate data across platforms, for instance, automatically updating existing records and reports and automating communications to volunteers.

(Video) What Makes the Highest Performing Teams in the World | Simon Sinek

With a tool like that, you can easily line up your quotes and messages to attract the best volunteers and inspire greatness across your programs!

Volunteer quotes, great volunteer quote, Volunteer Quotes to Inspire

Related posts

Corporate volunteering, Digital in corporate volunteering, corporate volunteering structures

What is the New Normal for Corporate Volunteering?

Team Golden

(Video) Stop Beginning Your Speeches with Good Morning and Thank You and Start with This Instead

COVID pandemic practices and policies forced the world to create a “new normal”. Workplace and...

Read more

volunteer_management, volunteer management software, Volunteer Management

Why Your Nonprofit Needs Volunteer Management Software

Team Golden

(Video) How to Master the Art of Leadership | Simon Sinek’s Greatest Speech

Did you know that 85% of nonprofits believe technology is key to their success? Are you aware that...

Read more

volunteering statistics, Corporate Volunteer Statistics, volunteering statistics about health benefits

19 Volunteering Statistics Your Nonprofit Team Should Study

Team Golden

Did you know that volunteering makes us happier? Research shows that volunteering boosts people’s...

(Video) (LISTEN TO THIS EVERY DAY) Earl Nightingale - The Strangest Secret (FULL) - Patrick Tugwell

Read more


What are some inspirational quotes for volunteers? ›

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”

What is the quote heart of a volunteer? ›

The heart of a volunteer is never measured | The Foundation for a Better Life.

How do you inspire others to volunteer? ›

8 Ways on How to Motivate and Engage Volunteers
  1. Check your assumptions about volunteers.
  2. Design a volunteer engagement program.
  3. Show your appreciation.
  4. Value your volunteers' time.
  5. Play to their strengths.
  6. Communicate and listen to their feedback.
  7. Give volunteers the training and resources they need.
Aug 25, 2021

What are 10 motivational quotes? ›

Motivational quotes to start your day
  • “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” — ...
  • “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” — ...
  • “Don't settle for average. ...
  • “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” — ...
  • “Don't bunt.
May 18, 2020

What are three important quotes? ›

Quotes by Famous People
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - ...
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. - ...
  • Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ...
  • If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. -
Jan 2, 2023

What makes an amazing volunteer? ›

To sum up what makes a good volunteer, looking for volunteers who are passionate, reliable, team players, patient, creative, energetic, positive, willing to help, compassionate and organised will ensure they are great assets to your team.

What is motivation for volunteering? ›

A person may volunteer because they feel it is important to help others or to participate in their community. Some volunteers may be motivated to understand more about their community or learn through hands-on experience.

What motivates to a person to volunteer? ›


desire of excellence. doing a good job. needing a sense of important accomplishment. wanting to change/advance career/get a job.

How do volunteers feel valued? ›

A simple thank you can go a long way in making volunteers feel valued. You can do this formally at a staff meeting or informally in person, through emails, by telephone or texting to send out personalized thank yous. Some other ways to thank volunteers is to write about their contributions in newsletters or weekly.

How do I motivate and inspire others? ›

10 ways to inspire others
  1. Build up those around you.
  2. Be enthusiastic.
  3. Have integrity.
  4. Be empathetic.
  5. Maintain a positive outlook.
  6. Practice gratitude.
  7. Stand your ground.
  8. Set clear goals and strive to achieve them.
Mar 8, 2022

What are the 6 steps that motivate you to volunteer? ›

Assess with these 6 Steps!
Be proactive – assess yourself and proactively manage those you are responsible for.
  • Values – Choose an organization that shares your values. ...
  • Understanding – Find an organization that can use your skills or teach you what skills you want to learn. ...
  • Social – Find people you want to be around.
Jun 26, 2014

How do you inspire and engage people? ›

Inspire and Engage Your Team
  1. Work on Yourself First. Before you can get others excited about the job, you've got to make sure you are engaged. ...
  2. Define the Mission. ...
  3. Address Roadblocks. ...
  4. Create S.M.A.R.T. ...
  5. Put the Right People in the Right Positions. ...
  6. Invest in Regular Training. ...
  7. Let Them Do Their Job.
Mar 4, 2020

What is the most powerful motivational quote? ›

1. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Gandhi. “Live for what's worth dying for, and leverage technology to create the world you wish to see.”

What is the most inspiring quote ever? ›

What is the most inspiring quote ever?
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius.
  • “Magic is believing in yourself. ...
  • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
  • “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure…
Aug 19, 2021

What are 20 positive quotes? ›

Top 20 Motivational Quotes
  • It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. ...
  • Nothing lasts forever. ...
  • There are only two ways to live your life. ...
  • Take chances, make mistakes. ...
  • Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections.

What is a good Success quote? ›

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." "The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda." "However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at." "Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success."

What is a powerful quote about strength? ›

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." "Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle." "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

What are the strongest quotes? ›

50 Quotes to Help You Stay Strong
  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – ...
  • “Surprise yourself everyday with your own courage.” – ...
  • “Courage is only an accumulation of small steps.” – ...
  • “I like to use the hard times in the past to motivate me today.” – ...
  • “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.
Apr 8, 2020

What is a famous quote about helping others? ›

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

What are empowering Quotes? ›

Empowering Quotes for Self-Worth

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” “Self–worth is so vital to your happiness if you don't feel good about yourself, it's hard to feel good about anything else.”

What are three inspiring words? ›

Dreams come true.” “Never give up.” “Winners never quit.” “Success breeds success.”

What is todays inspiring quote? ›

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.

What are the 3 main characteristics of volunteer? ›

5 Traits that make a great volunteer
  • Passion: Passion can be infectious, so it's an important trait that all great volunteers must share. ...
  • Reliability: There's nothing worse than depending on someone to do something and then having them fall through on their commitment. ...
  • Integrity: ...
  • Team Player: ...
  • Energy:
Jan 6, 2015

What are 3 benefits of volunteering? ›

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.
  • Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. ...
  • Volunteering combats depression. ...
  • Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy.

What is the number one motivator of volunteers? ›

A variety of studies report that volunteers are motivated to action primarily for altruistic reasons. Altruism is defined as a concern for the welfare of others. Among the top reasons for volunteering consistently identified by volunteers are: a personal belief in a cause, and a desire to help others.

Why should I be passionate about volunteering? ›

The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.

Why volunteering makes you a better leader? ›

Volunteering—particularly with an industry or professional organization—provides an opportunity to develop your leadership skills in many ways. Volunteers can gain different perspectives, build relationships, and master new skills—often, ones they might not have the time for or opportunity to work on at their jobs.

How do volunteers gain confidence? ›

Volunteering can help build self-esteem because:
  1. It gives you a sense of purpose. ...
  2. It's an opportunity for people interaction. ...
  3. It takes the focus away from yourself. ...
  4. It helps with your sense of belonging. ...
  5. You can learn new skills and gain experience. ...
  6. It can give you a sense of achievement.
Sep 8, 2015

How volunteers make a difference? ›

Volunteers help improve areas around the world by completing any and every task, from mending fences and picking up trash to painting a community building or filling a classroom with necessary supplies. How volunteers make a difference is by recognizing no task is too small or insignificant.

What do you say to a volunteer in appreciation? ›

Formal thank you

Thank you so much for volunteering [volunteer activity or event]. Your willingness to give your time and service is greatly appreciated. Your support of [insert organization name] allows us to continue to fulfill our mission and serve [number] people in our community each year.

How do you uplift someone with words? ›

  • “You got this.”
  • “Good luck today! ...
  • “Sending major good vibes your way.”
  • “I know this won't be easy, but I also know you've got what it takes to get through it.”
  • “Hope you're doing awesome!”
  • “Time to go kick cancer's ass!”
  • “Keep on keeping on!”
Aug 25, 2022

How do you motivate and energize your team? ›

The ultimate guide to motivating a team — and why it matters
  1. Share your vision and set clear goals.
  2. Communicate with your staff.
  3. Encourage teamwork.
  4. A healthy office environment.
  5. Give positive feedback and reward your team.
  6. Provide opportunities for development.
  7. Give employees the space they need to thrive.

What are 10 words that bring you inspiration? ›

Powerful Words That Give You Life Motivation
  • Goals. It should be no surprise that goals motivate us and inspire us. ...
  • New. Choosing to learn something new every day will give you a reason to grown and change. ...
  • Challenge. ...
  • Truth. ...
  • Determination. ...
  • Laughter. ...
  • Perseverance. ...
  • Freedom.
Nov 3, 2022

What are the 5 motivational strategies? ›

5 motivational techniques to help you achieve your goals
  • Set yourself a bigger goal.
  • Set smaller goals along the way.
  • Do your research.
  • Get support.
  • Stay positive.

How do you empower your team? ›

Empower your team and build trust
  1. Ask for input. ...
  2. Ask for their ideas and insights. ...
  3. Reinforce with positive feedback. ...
  4. Develop leaders. ...
  5. Stretch each team member's capabilities. ...
  6. Mentor your team members. ...
  7. Encourage open communication. ...
  8. Demonstrate that you trust your team members.

How did you motivate your team? ›

Encourage the members of your team to fully participate by inviting their input and suggestions on how to do things better. Ask questions, listen to their answers, and, whenever possible, implement their solutions. Happy employees are enthusiastic and positive members of the team, and their attitude is infectious.

How do you motivate employees quotes? ›

37 motivational quotes to inspire your employees
  • “If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it.” ...
  • “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” ...
  • “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

What to say to appreciate volunteers? ›

Formal thank you

Thank you so much for volunteering [volunteer activity or event]. Your willingness to give your time and service is greatly appreciated. Your support of [insert organization name] allows us to continue to fulfill our mission and serve [number] people in our community each year.

How do I make volunteers feel appreciated? ›

19 Volunteer Appreciation Ideas
  1. Thank You Letters. Write handwritten stewardship thank you letters to your volunteers. ...
  2. Phone Calls or Text Messages. ...
  3. Recognition Awards. ...
  4. Social Media Spotlights. ...
  5. Free Swag. ...
  6. Gift Cards. ...
  7. Event Perks. ...
  8. Dedicated Community Spot.
Jan 11, 2023

What does the Bible say about volunteering? ›

A lot of people balk at the idea that a volunteer would be the one to benefit from serving, but Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward.

What are the best appreciation words? ›

When you're feeling a deep appreciation for those who have made a difference in your life, use these phrases to show your gratitude:
  • I appreciate you!
  • You are the best.
  • I appreciate your help so much.
  • I wanted to thank you for your help.
  • I value the help you've given me.
  • I am so thankful for you in my life.
Aug 3, 2022

What are some appreciation quotes? ›

Appreciation quotes
  • “Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret.” — ...
  • “Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude!” — ...
  • “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —

Why does volunteering make us feel good? ›

The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.

What is Proverbs 19 17? ›

Proverbs 19:17

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD: When we give to the poor (expressing our love and pity towards them), we aren't wasting our money. It is like lending money to the LORD Himself.

What does Matthew 25 40 say? ›

ESV And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ' NIV The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

What is Proverbs 3 27? ›

27“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28Do not say to your neighbor, 'Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow'—when you now have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28 is a very sweeping, broad stroke scripture. It offers quite a bit of instruction.

What are the 7 motivators? ›

The Seven Motivators

These 7 motivators are: Aesthetic, Economic, Individualistic, Political, Altruistic, Regulatory, Theoretical.

What are the 4 major motivators? ›

What are the 4 types of external motivation?
  • Incentive motivation. Incentive motivation is all about external rewards. ...
  • Fear motivation. Here you're motivated by the fear of an undesirable outcome. ...
  • Power motivation. It's normal to want control over your own life. ...
  • Social motivation.
May 17, 2022

What are the three key reasons people volunteer? ›

Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer
  • 10: It's good for you. ...
  • 9: It saves resources. ...
  • 8: Volunteers gain professional experience. ...
  • 7: It brings people together. ...
  • 6: It promotes personal growth and self esteem. ...
  • 5: Volunteering strengthens your community. ...
  • 4: You learn a lot. ...
  • 3: You get a chance to give back.


(RedFrost Motivation)
2. Why good leaders make you feel safe | Simon Sinek
3. Dave Matthews Band - Cortez, The Killer (from The Central Park Concert)
(Dave Matthews Band)
4. FC Online | March 5
(Faith Community)
5. Admiral McRaven Leaves the Audience SPEECHLESS | One of the Best Motivational Speeches
6. How to Leverage Being an Introvert | Simon Sinek
(Simon Sinek)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanael Baumbach

Last Updated: 09/25/2023

Views: 5864

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanael Baumbach

Birthday: 1998-12-02

Address: Apt. 829 751 Glover View, West Orlando, IN 22436

Phone: +901025288581

Job: Internal IT Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Motor sports, Flying, Skiing, Hooping, Lego building, Ice skating

Introduction: My name is Nathanael Baumbach, I am a fantastic, nice, victorious, brave, healthy, cute, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.