Recognise and reward your volunteers

  • Remember a volunteer’s name, and use it when you greet them
  • Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’
  • Be interested in their personal lives and problems
  • Celebrate major achievements – perhaps with an award ceremony to which you invite prominent local people
  • Ensure they have a way of taking part in the decision making processes
  • Ask them to make presentations at committee meetings.
  • Offer training and progression
  • Bring food to volunteers support meetings
  • Nominate them for community awards
  • Always mention the effort put in by your volunteers in any newspaper or radio coverage
  • Also mention volunteers input at meetings, in the annual report and in your newsletter
  • Remember their birthdays and send them a card
  • If they need equipment to carry out their role make sure it works and it is as up to date as you can afford
  • Keep a file of specific accomplishments so that you can use the facts when needed
  • Use special days eg Volunteers’ Week & Make a Difference Day to publicise their work and time put in
  • Organise a social event, outing or party to say thank you

Key points

  • Make sure any way you choose of recognising and rewarding fits the type of achievement and the volunteer concerned. Make it personal and meaningful
  • Be honest and sincere. Most people can see through superficial praise
  • Be consistent and fair. Don’t have different rules for different people
  • Make sure the paid staff are fully aware of how important volunteers are to your organisation and ensure they have some training in managing volunteers