Recognition is an important part of any volunteer program. People are motivated to volunteer for different reasons: to help others, to make a difference, to better themselves, to meet people, to get to know their communities. Whatever motivates them to serve, they will appreciate being appreciated. Take the time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service and honor the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities with these tips.
2. Put up a volunteer suggestion box. (Be sure to use some of their suggestions!)
3. Tweet or post on Facebook about something great they’ve done as a volunteer.
4. Send cards for birthdays, holidays, just because.
5. Write thank-you notes.
6. Arrange for discounts with local businesses.
7. Nominate them for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
8. Invite volunteers to staff meetings.
9. Recognize and accommodate personal needs, problems and preferences.
10. Use volunteers in an emergency situation.
11. Post pictures of volunteers in action throughout your facility.
12. Greet them by name.
13. Award plaques or other appropriate items.
14. Motivate agency staff and board members to get to know volunteers.
15. Give additional responsibility.
16. Ask them to participate in team planning and policy formulation.
17. Enable growth on and outside of the job.
18. Create pleasant surroundings.
19. Enlist them to train other volunteers.
20. Write letters of recommendation for jobs, scholarships or other applications.
21. Invite them to organization celebrations, such as holiday parties.
22. Provide scholarships to volunteer conferences or workshops.
23. Recognize volunteers publicly through media placements, billboards, etc.
24. Maintain a file of “good stuff”-news articles, cards, e-mails praising your volunteers’ work.
25. Promote a “Volunteer-of-the-Month” program.
26. Send a letter of appreciation to the volunteer’s employer, if appropriate.
27. Plan a “Recognition Edition” of the agency newsletter.
28. Color code nametags to indicate particular achievements (hours, years, unit, etc.)
29. Host a wine tasting for volunteers and staff.