Building a Culture of Volunteer Recognition: Three Steps to Success

The tradition of National Volunteer Week is thriving in Greater Western Sydney!

This May the Volunteer Solutions Team supported 11 volunteer recognition events across the region.

It was clear-across all of these events just how much each volunteer’s time and efforts are appreciated.

Given the value of our volunteers, we need to be doing our best to ensure we hold onto them.

The best volunteering programs I have seen, offer volunteers unique & meaningful roles, and have been led by an engaged and caring volunteer manager

This resource will outline THREE steps to successfully build a culture of recognition in YOUR organisation.

What is a Culture of Recognition?

A culture of recognition is a multi-facet approach to rewarding and valuing volunteers. For an organisation without a steadfast culture of recognition, it can require multiple layers of commitment and involvement.

A culture of recognition understands what each individual volunteer deeply cares about.  If well leveraged, this can lead to happier volunteers who engage with the organisation for longer.

How do I Build a Culture of Recognition?

Building a culture of volunteer recognition requires a sustained effort over time. Assess how you can implement the three steps below to kick start the process of build a strong culture of volunteer recognition in your organisation.

1: Create a Meaningful Role

Volunteers need to see how their work helps other. Regardless of a volunteer’s initial motivation to assist an organisation, if they don’t feel useful, they won’t hang around.

2: Engage in Meaningful Communication

Every interaction you have with your volunteer demonstrates how much you value them. Think about what makes you feel heard and appreciated when conversing with others. Make each interaction an instance of volunteer recognition!

3: Harness Community Support

Studies show that some volunteers appreciate ‘experiences’ more than any gift or cash reward. Consider partnering with local attractions to offer a discount or free entry. Perhaps a local store would be willing to offer a volunteer discount to demonstrate their support?

Volunteer Recognition Graph

Download our Innovative Volunteer Recognition Infographic: .jpg or .pdf

Need Some Assistance?

Judy Esmond has written extensively on volunteer motivation and recognition. Laura Goddard, Head of Volunteering reflects on many of Edmond’s insights in the free webinar ‘6 Steps to Volunteer Management Success’.

If you would like to learn more about bringing volunteers ‘into the fold’ of an organisation’s culture then register to attend our next FREE Volunteer Manager Forum

Find out more about our Volunteer Solutions