Recognising your volunteers

24 May 2017 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 30 May 2017

It is vitally important that we recognise all the work that volunteers do – they are often the “life-blood” in our organisations. In the same way as donors give of their money, volunteers give of their time and we want to thank them for all that they do.

There are lots of ways that we can show that we value our volunteers and the work that they do. We can do this informally on a regular basis as well as organising special events and planning specific ways to recognise and thank volunteers from time to time. The key to helping volunteers to feel valued is the culture of the organisation, how they are integated and involved, together with how they are managed and supported.

Here are 12 ways we can recognise and thank our volunteers:

  • Build a culture of valuing and involving volunteers across the organisation
  • Include the contribution of volunteers in your annual report
  • Send birthday cards or thank you cards to your volunteers
  • Ask volunteers their opinion and include them in decision making
  • Volunteering certificates for recognition of hours or years of service
  • Specific thank you when a volunteer has gone above and beyond
  • Social events with nice refreshments and a time to relax
  • Referring to the value of volunteers and the work they do in internal and external communications – newsletters, social media, website, blogs
  • Organise an event to thank your volunteers – coffee morning, afternoon tea, picnic or BBQ
  • Take photos of volunteers and the work they do and display in your reception and put on your website and social media
  • Take time to talk to your volunteers and get to know them
  • Learn what motivates them and then take action – development opportunities, meeting people, challenge, responsibility, new experiences, having a voice.

Look out for our volunteer management training on our training calendar which is all about supporting and motivating your volunteers.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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