11 ways to reward and show appreciation for Volunteers

Selfless individuals around the globe generously donate their time and talents to support various causes, events, and fundraising endeavours. Volunteers epitomise generosity and compassion, so how can we express gratitude for their dedication?

In every corner of the world, selfless individuals dedicate their time and skills to support causes, events and fundraising activities. Volunteers are the embodiment of generosity and compassion so how can you show appreciation for their efforts?

In this article we will look at all the ways volunteers benefit from volunteering and how you can show you value their contribution.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of communities

As we celebrate the invaluable contributions of these unsung heroes, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of recognising and rewarding their dedication and commitment. Volunteers make such a positive impact on our communities, it’s easy to overlook their importance and take their efforts for granted. 

Volunteers make a lasting change and foster community spirit. From planting trees in local parks to serving meals at homeless shelters, volunteers play a vital role in addressing social and environmental challenges.

Four ways people benefit from volunteering

The act of volunteering itself is rewarding and has a number of benefits to people, helping them feel healthier and happier. Here’s a few examples of how volunteers benefit from supporting causes:

  1. Volunteering has proven benefits to mental health
  2. Volunteering is an opportunity to meet new people
  3. Volunteering can improve career advancement
  4. Volunteering helps people feel like they can make a difference in the world

Lifeline (2)

11 ways to show appreciation for volunteers

While volunteering is inherently fulfilling, it's essential to go beyond just relying on personal satisfaction. Effective and impactful volunteer programs recognise the importance of showing appreciation for volunteers' efforts to ensure their continued engagement with your cause.

  1. Public Recognition at your events or newsletters
    If you regularly produce a newsletter then spare a moment to gather feedback from your volunteer coordinators and find stories to share from volunteers who have reached certain milestones or made significant contributions. Equally if you run events then find a moment at the start of the event to call out continued support from repeat volunteers.

  2. Badges and Milestone recognition
    Reaching certain milestones are important for some people but for others they might not even be aware of the number of shifts or hours they have completed. If you have visibility of the milestones your volunteers have reached then show them you care and you are aware of their contribution.

    LP Award Badges

    The Literacy Pirates, a charity in London that helps children with their reading and writing skills, have an innovative approach to acknowledging milestones with physical badges highlighting milestones and equivalent digital badges - read here to find out how they connect a physical badge to a gamified experience on their online volunteer profile.

  3. Gift cards for local businesses or online retailers
    Presenting a volunteer with a gift card or sending them a link to download a discount code is a cost effective way of rewarding volunteers. In many instances, volunteer programs utilising a Volunteer Management Software platform can seamlessly incorporate this method of rewarding their volunteers into their system through automated emails.

  4. Certificates of appreciation
    Recognising volunteers with certificates of appreciation or awards for their service can be a meaningful gesture to honour their contributions. Acknowledging volunteers' dedication publicly can boost their morale and inspire others to get involved.

  5. Free admission to events or activities
    Child Bereavement UK have an innovative way of encouraging people to volunteer that includes offering free passes to their festivals and events. Fundraisers, support workers, greeters, marshals, stall assistants and more get a chance to enter their events for free by offering their time - click here to find out more


  6. Personalised thank you notes
    Sending personalised thank-you notes to volunteers expressing gratitude for their efforts can go a long way in showing appreciation. Taking the time to acknowledge volunteers individually and highlighting their impact helps strengthen the bond between volunteers and the organisation.

    Kylie Elliott, Volunteer Lead at Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation understands the need to give thanks - listen to our interview with Kylie as she individually thanks her volunteers.

  7. Volunteer appreciation dinners
    Hosting volunteer appreciation events, such as recognition galas or social gatherings, provides an opportunity to celebrate volunteers and their achievements. These events allow volunteers to connect with one another, share their experiences, and feel a sense of camaraderie within the organisation.

  8. Training and Professional development 
    Providing volunteers with opportunities for skills development and training can be a rewarding way to invest in their personal and professional growth. Offering workshops, seminars, or mentoring programs helps volunteers enhance their skills and expertise while feeling valued by the organisation.

  9. Social Media Shout-outs
    Showcasing volunteers' contributions on social media platforms can amplify their impact and raise awareness about the organisation's work. Sharing volunteer stories, photos, and testimonials online helps recognise volunteers publicly and inspire others to join the cause.

    Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 10.22.41

  10. Branded Merchandise
    Do you have a loyal community of volunteers that passionately support your cause so much they would gratefully receive branded clothing and merchandise? Many Volunteer Programs such as Spartan and Parkrun offer merchandise to their supporters as a way of saying thank you and fostering an inclusive community.

  11. Early access to volunteer opportunities
    Do you have high demand for all of your volunteer opportunities? Do your opportunities become fully booked minutes after making them available? A good way to reward volunteers who reliably get involved regularly is to give them priority access to volunteer opportunities.

The Definitive Guide to: Volunteer Recruitment

Future proof your volunteer program by creating an effective and sustainable volunteer recruitment strategy. 

Download the FREE white paper with insight from British Heart Foundation, Child Bereavement UK, The Common Good and more.




About Rosterfy

Rosterfy is used by nonprofits, charities, sporting federations, local governments, and more to better manage their volunteer programs by improving how they can recruit, screen, train, and retain volunteers.

Our market leading technology helps you create an engaging experience throughout the whole lifecycle of your volunteer journey.

Book a call today.

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