Recognising and Rewarding Volunteers

Swimming volunteers with certificates. Used on Rewarding and Recognising volunteers page.

Recognising and rewarding volunteers means they are more likely to continue to support your club.

It helps foster a positive experience and contributes to volunteers being happy and confident with what they are doing.

A few tips to help

Volunteers should be involved in decision making, and their commitment and achievements should be recognised.

Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

There are many ways of rewarding volunteers; certificates, parties and gifts are great ways to make volunteers feel valued.

But more important than the big gestures are the everyday things you do to let your volunteer workforce know they are important.

The ASA’s Guide to Supporting Your Volunteers provides plenty of ideas for recognition and reward.

Different people value different forms of recognition, so make sure you think of the most appropriate way of showing your appreciation to each individual in a way that means something to them.

Here are some suggestions to show your volunteers how much your club appreciates them.

Ideas For Rewarding Volunteers


  1. Take the time to say ‘thank you!’
  2. Make sure volunteers have enough tasks to keep them engaged and motivated
  3. Where possible try to ensure volunteers are given roles relevant to their skills, interests and level of experience
  4. Include volunteers in social events – going out for lunch etc., so that they can enjoy the social aspect of volunteering
  5. Ask volunteers for opinions on informal matters, such as where a new notice board should go etc.
  6. Complete a ‘debrief’ at the end of an event or training session so that volunteers feel part of a team


  1. Provide each volunteer with a clear role description for the role they will be doing, which covers what is expected, who to go to for help, and any other relevant information
  2. Ensure new volunteers have an induction to the club and their role – obtain expectations from both sides and allow for questions to be asked
  3. Assign mentors or ‘buddies’ to new volunteers so that they have a designated ‘go-to’ person for help, or appoint a Volunteer/Workforce Coordinator
  4. Make volunteers aware of available training and qualifications which would be suitable for them, and if the club is not in a position to be able to cover costs ensure the volunteers are made aware of available funding options for these
  5. Run volunteer events such as a ‘thank you event’ – this could be anything from an awards evening, a meal out or a game of rounders
  6. Include volunteers in decisions that affect them – invite them to meetings or working groups or request feedback on future plans.

To get you started we’ve included a certificate for you to say ‘thank you!’ This can be given to anyone at your club, from anyone at your club, for any reason.

It can be awarded quietly, at a presentation, during the ‘debrief’ of an event or displayed on your club notice board or website.

Volunteers’ Week

Volunteers' Week 2015 logo.Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign that runs from 1-7 June, led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), to celebrate the fantastic contribution that volunteers make across the country.

Everyone is invited to join this national celebration of volunteers and volunteering, it’s up to you to decide exactly how you join in. See for further information.


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