Ways to Recognize Volunteers Back »

Everyone likes to be recognized for doing a good job – including volunteers! Volunteer recognition does not need to be formal, public, or expensive. Below is a list of recognition ideas which can be used to recognize Extension Volunteers.

Volunteer Recognition Suggestions

  • Send cards for achievements or special days (birthday, new arrivals, anniversary, promotion, graduation, etc.)
  • Write a news article for the local newspaper, highlighting a volunteer’s contribution or impact.
  • Write an article for the newsletter.
  • Send a handwritten thank-you note.
  • Send an e-mail message.
  • Say "thank-you" during a meeting or gathering.
  • Ask a volunteer for their input about a program.
  • Ask a volunteer to conduct or coordinate a program.
  • Send a volunteer to a conference and ask them to present a report, or workshop, on some aspect of the conference.
  • Serve food at a volunteer meeting.
  • Personalize the recognition – provide a gift that is meaningful for the individual volunteer.
  • Give volunteer certificates, plaques, pins, etc. (be sure all names are spelled correctly!)
  • Have a “Volunteer of the Month" award.
  • Provide educational resources for the volunteers to utilize (videos, pamphlets, books, and curriculum).
  • Ask effective volunteers to each recruit another volunteer who is "just like them."
  • Always use the volunteer’s first name.
  • Nominate a volunteer to teach a workshop at a conference or symposium.
  • Provide useful and effective orientation for each volunteer position.
  • Recognize and share innovative suggestions or programs.
  • Be patient and empathetic.
  • Recognize the impact of the number of hours contributed to the organization or program.
  • Be available for one-on-one conversations with the volunteers.
  • Provide scholarships to conferences.
  • Recognize the achievements or accomplishments of those with whom the volunteer works.
  • Have a program participant share a success story about the volunteer.
  • Nominate volunteers for awards.
  • Make sure that each volunteer is a "good fit" with their leadership role.
  • Make telephone calls to the volunteers.
  • Encourage clientele to send thank-you notes.
  • Praise volunteers in public - especially in front of family and friends.
  • Give complimentary gift certificates.
  • Give a volunteer a light bulb or candle with the message, "You light up my life."
  • Give calendars, notepads, pens, or pencils.
  • Be pleasant and appreciative.

Adapted from: “131 WAYS TO RECOGNIZE 4-H VOLUNTEERS,” Ohio 4-H Volunteer Fact Sheet #40 [Text Box:] ;

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