Rewarding volunteers

Recognition is vital in the retention of club volunteers. There are some key considerations and approaches to recognising and rewarding volunteers in terms of equity.

It is important to keep records and to know why volunteers are being recognised or rewarded (e.g. length of service, going beyond the call of duty). Recognition stems from genuinely valuing your volunteers and their efforts within your club.

Ways to recognise volunteers:

  • Smile, say hello and thank you to your volunteers regularly
  • Send welcome letters when volunteers are first recruited
  • Include volunteers in organisational charts
  • Write letters and post cards of thanks to volunteers
  • Write letters of reference and include details of service
  • Provide identification pins, badges, shirts or caps
  • Provide discounted memberships to volunteers
  • Acknowledge and profile volunteers in newsletters
  • Present volunteer awards at annual general meetings or awards ceremonies
  • Feature your volunteers at special events throughout the year (e.g., state championships, national league games, family days)
  • Provide complimentary tickets to volunteers for special events functions
  • Send get well, birthday and Christmas cards to your volunteers
  • Arrange discounts at local sport stores or restaurants for your volunteers
  • Have a volunteer-of-the-month award
  • Name events or facilities after long-serving volunteers
  • Award life memberships for long-serving volunteers
  • Reimburse out-of pocket expenses for volunteers
  • Acknowledge the efforts of volunteers during committee meetings
  • Hold special “thank you” or social functions in honour of volunteers
  • Present volunteers with a special memento recognising their service to the organisation
  • Farewell volunteers when they move away from the area or leave the organisation
  • Provide meal and petrol vouchers to volunteers
  • Arrange for free or discounted use of facilities
  • Present special awards for 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and more years of service
  • Celebrate International Volunteers day – December 5.

Source: Recognising Volunteers – Active Australia Volunteer Management Program; Australian Sports Commission