10 Reward Systems for Recognizing Your Volunteers

Rewarding Volunteers

The best way to make sure your volunteers are continually receiving the recognition they deserve – not only internally but externally as well – is to set up a system of rewards systems so that their good deeds do not go unnoticed.

Recognition is one of the best ways to keep your soldiers fighting on the front lines. Everybody knows that a solid base of consistent volunteer work makes your organization go-round.

So, with that being said, don’t put off setting up your volunteer reward and recognition system any longer. CreativeVolunteer has put together a list of some of our favorite ways to reward volunteers – based on our own volunteering perspective and experiences.

Take a look!

1. Gift Card Giveaway

In a bad economy situation, it is easier to ask for donations in kind than in cash, especially if the donors know that gift certificates are given directly to unpaid volunteers. Both local companies and national retail and restaurant chains participate in charity giving, and asking for gift certificates is a great way to honor a volunteer at no extra cost to the organization.

Ultimately, local businesses benefit from this because few people spend less than $5 or $10 per visit. The company wins new customers and you can recognize your outstanding volunteers.

2. Implement a Themed ‘Kudos’ System

Everyone knows that when someone says “kudos” to you, it basically means that you have done a great job. Integrate this principle into the way you work with volunteers by developing a system of rewards.

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3. Hold Raffles or Drawings

Every week, you can appoint a volunteer who will receive a reserved parking space right at the front door. Or, at the end of the month, a choice can be made for the lucky winner. This is just one example of a free drawing or raffle you can have to honor your over-performing volunteers.

4. Hold a Celebratory Barbecue!

Yeah. . . everybody loves food. Remember that. Regular barbecues, pizza parties, or picnic outings can go a long way in motivating your volunteers to keep doing solid work for your cause.

5. Provide Discounts to Your Volunteers

Did you know that non-profit organizations can offer discounts to employees and volunteers? Depending on the nature of the service or product you provide, it may be a good way to give volunteers back what they have helped build.

6. Send Personal Thank You Notes or Emails

Sending personalized emails to your volunteers is a great and inexpensive way to let them know that you appreciate their work. Make sure you keep track of the little things they do every day that make your organization go. When it comes to recognition, the small details are very important.

7. Hand Out Awards

Better yet, make it an event! Recognitions can include “Most Enthusiastic”, “Most Motivating” and other similar personality traits that carry your organization. Group awards also encourage team building and reward those who work well together.

8. Create A Volunteer Alumni Publication

Call it a yearbook, if you will. Collect photos from different projects, annual events and holiday celebrations and put them in a print publication for volunteers to celebrate their work and collect special memories.

9. Print Good Ol’ Fashioned Certificates

It is a pity that many internal bonuses and recognition levels are never generated. A simple and free way to do this is to give the volunteers a volunteer certificate that will help them to gain credibility and to congratulate them on their efforts. Today, digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Pages and pre-printed certificate paper help make certificates beautiful straight from your at-home computer.

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10. Set-Up a Fly For Good Profile for the Office

Fly For Good is a travel search engine that offers volunteers a 10-25% discount on airline tickets. Every quarter, Fly For Good profits are transferred to a humanitarian project such as the Balinese Dyslexia Foundation. So, your volunteers can donate to a charity project and save on airline tickets. To become a member of the Good Network, all you need to do is create an online profile on the site. Since discounts are managed by a third party, this is an easily accessible and cost-effective incentive.

Rewarding and Recognizing Your Volunteers is Important!

It’s important to note that not all organizations operate with volunteer incentives and rewards. Some times, it’s not possible with the limited resources of an organization. Remember, the cause should always come first. If money is tight, volunteers will understand.

However, it is the volunteers that make your organization GO – so, reward them when you can!

If you would like more information on how you can get involved through CreativeVolunteer, feel free to contact us through contact@volunteer-opportunities.org.

If you are an organization or a part of one who may benefit from partnering with us, you can ask us anything at partner@volunteer-opportunities.org.

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