Tip Sheet 12: Volunteer Recognition

School Councils rely almost entirely on volunteer support. Volunteers are dedicated individuals who donate countless hours of their time to organize events, raise funds, support classroom programs, and help students improve their academic performance.

Volunteers contribute their time willingly, with no thought of payment or reward, but most people appreciate it when their efforts are recognized. A simple thank you is often all it takes to show your volunteers that you care about them and value their support.

Here are some creative ideas that you can use to thank your volunteers for their help.

Make volunteers feel welcome

• Greet volunteers by name.

• Make them visible in the school. Give them badges to wear.

• Create a "volunteers" bulletin board and post their names and photographs.

• Listen to their ideas and suggestions and implement them if you can.

• Give them feedback on the results of their efforts. Let them know how they contributed to the success of the event, program or activity.

Send a message of appreciation

• Phone your volunteers or send a card with a personal message.

• Send long-time volunteers an anniversary card.

• Surprise volunteers with a gift of food or a special treat, such as

- wrap a few cinnamon buns with a note: "thanks for working your buns off"

- put some candy in a wine glass with a note: "a toast to a job well done"

• Give small, personal gifts, such as flowers, bookmarks, candles, potpourri, etc.

• Put a quote about volunteerism on specialty paper and frame it. Give it as a unique reminder of all the value that volunteer work brings to the school.

Acknowledge volunteers publicly

• Work with your school to have students write letters of appreciation and send them to the volunteers.

• Add a Volunteer Recognition section in your school newsletter.

• Have a volunteer recognition lunch or tea at your school.

• Honour volunteers with certificates or presentations.

• Remember to thank volunteers at every opportunity, at meetings, during and after events.