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|Here in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.,
March crocuses poke through the ground and remind us that National Volunteer Week for the U.S. and Canada is just
around the corner. In fact, celebrations of volunteer achievement are also near
in many other areas of the world. As you plan your volunteer recognition celebrations,
think of our early spring bloomers and take notice of those volunteers who are
just showing the beginning of their potential but taking the lead to achieve
something great. Remember that recognition is more than just a "thank-you;"
it's one of the strongest motivation techniques you can use. See our resources
for recognition and motivation below.|
|Volunteer Management: Mobilizing All the Resources of the Community, 2nd Edition|
Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch designed Volunteer Management
to provide the new and the experienced volunteer program manager with both
basic knowledge and state of the art information, based on the more than 50
years of experience the authors have acquired in their work with thousands of
volunteer programs. A resource no leader of volunteers should be without!
12, "Making Volunteers Feel Appreciated," takes volunteer recognition beyond
once-a-year events. McCurley and Lynch take a holistic approach by recognizing
how different types of recognition motivate individuals and keep them happy and
See an excerpt below.
Order the book NOW!
(e-book, US$18.00 )
|More Resources on Recognizing and Motivating Volunteers
77 Ways to Recognize Volunteers
An idea-a-page to show real appreciation for volunteers.
Keeping Volunteers: A Guide to Retention
How to enhance volunteer retention and motivation, avoid volunteer burnout, get
beyond short-term commitments, and more - subjects of critical interest to
every volunteer program manager.
Recognizing Volunteers and Paid Staff
10 Keys to recognizing volunteers -- plus a list of lots and lots of actions
you can take to say "thank you."
Training Module 12 in The 55-Minute Training Series: Volunteer Recognition
Helps salaried and volunteer staff appreciate the significance of meaningful
recognition and to generate creative formal and informal ways to acknowledge
volunteers and staff.
Volunteer Recognition Skit Kit
Have fun at your volunteer recognition events! Seven original skits complete
with instructions, complete scripts, song words, and ideas for adaptation.
| Book Excerpt
Excerpted from Chapter 12 "Making
Volunteers Feel Appreciated" in Volunteer Management:
Mobilizing All the Resources of the Community, 2nd Edition by Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch © 2006, Johnstone Training and
must receive a sense of appreciation and reward for their contribution. This
sense can be conveyed through a number of processes, including both formal and
informal recognition systems.
recognition systems are comprised of the awards, certificates, plaques, pins,
or receptions to honor volunteer achievement. Many organizations hold an annual
ceremony in which individual volunteers are singled out for their achievement.
determining whether to establish such a formal ceremony, consider the
recognition systems are helpful mainly in satisfying the needs of the volunteer
who has a need for community approval but have little impact (and occasionally
have a negative impact) on volunteers whose primary focus is helping the
clientele. These volunteers may very well feel more motivated and
honored by a system which recognizes the achievements of "their" clients, and
also recognizes the contribution that the volunteer has made towards this
Is this being done to honor the volunteer, or so that staff can feel involved
and can feel that they have shown their appreciation for volunteers?
- Is it real and not stale or mechanical?
- Does it fit? Would the volunteers feel better if you spent the money on the needs of the clients rather than on an obligatory luncheon with dubious food?
- Can you make it a sense of celebration and a builder of team identity?
most effective volunteer recognition occurs in the day-to-day interchange
between the volunteer and the organization through the staff expressing sincere
appreciation and thanks for the work being done by the volunteer.
type of recognition is more powerful in part because it is much more frequent --
a once-a-year dinner does not carry the same impact as 365 days of good working
relationships. Day-to-day recognition may include:
intention of day-to-day recognition is to convey a constant sense of appreciation
and belonging to the volunteer. This sense can be better conveyed by the thousands
of small interactions that compose daily life than it can be conveyed in an
annual event. Recognition can begin quite early. A card of welcome sent to a
new volunteer, or a small welcome party conveys an immediate sense of
- Saying "thank you"
- Involving the volunteer in decisions that affect them
- Asking about the volunteer's family and showing an interest in their "outside" life
- Making sure that volunteers receive equal treatment to that given staff
- Sending a note of appreciation to the volunteer's family
- Allowing the volunteer to increase their skills by attending training
- Recommending the volunteer for promotion to a more responsible job
- Celebrating the volunteer's anniversary with the organization
Recognition to Types of Volunteers
is also possible to think about systems of volunteer recognition that are
appropriate to particular types of volunteers:
By Motivational Orientation
could think about the basic motivational needs of individuals when deciding
what form of recognition to use, such as:
result of recognition is additional training or more challenging tasks.
for recognition is best linked to a very specific accomplishment
- Phrasing of recognition through "Best," "Most"
- Recognition decision should include "Checkpoints"
- Awardee should be selected by co-workers
- Recognition should be given at group event
- Recognition should be given in presence of
peers, family, other bonded groupings
- Recognition item or award should have a "Personal Touch"
- Recognition should be organizational in
nature, given by the organization
- Recognition should be voted by peers
- If primary affiliative bonding is with
client, not others in the organization, then the client should take part in the
recognition, through a personal note of thanks or as presenter of the award
- Key aspect of recognition is "Promotion,"
conveying greater access to authority or information
- Recognition should be commendation from "Names"
- Recognition should be announced to
community at large, put in newspaper
- Recognition decision should be made by the
granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full
acknowledgment of the source, as cited here:
Excerpted from Chapter 12 in Volunteer Management: Mobilizing All the
Resources of the Community, 2nd Edition, by Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch
© 2006, Johnstone Training and Consultation, Inc. Found in the Energize, Inc.
Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/5-224-E-1.
|Energize, Inc. |
5450 Wissahickon Ave., C-13
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Energize empowers and inspires leaders of volunteers worldwide. Our specialty is creating and selecting the most relevant, innovative resources in volunteer management. We're advocates for the power of volunteers and for the recognition of the leaders who unleash it.