Creative Ways to Recognize Volunteers

Giving volunteers recognition doesn’t need to be an expensive project.  Volunteer trainer Betty Stallings compiled the following list of creative and low-cost ways to show appreciation to volunteers.  Volunteers will appreciate a brief note written by you accompanying the object.

Creative Ways to Recognize Volunteers
(adapted from Betty Stallings, The Volunteerism Project, 1992)

What a bright idea!…: note stuck to Christmas light bulb

A Cracker Jack idea…: box of Crackerjacks

Your ideas are so exciting I could just pop…: a balloon

Thanks for raisin’ the tough questions…: a mini-box of raisins

Your great work has me wreathed in smiles…: small grapevine wreath

I’m lucky to have you to help…: a rabbit’s foot

No one holds a candle to you…: scented votive or birthday candle

You are a lifesaver…: roll of Lifesaver candy

You are the apple of my eye…: real or artificial apple

What an angel!  Here’s your halo…: two silver pipe cleaners twisted together in halo

Your vision is our guiding light…: mini-flashlight

You’ve given our project the sweet smell of success…: potpourri or sachet packet

Your presentation was right to the point…: box of tacks of push-pins

Thanks for energizing us…: batteries

By any measure, you’re a leader…: tape measure or ruler

Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…: band-aid

“Prescription” pep-up pills for tough jobs, cheering up…: M&Ms in old medicine bottles

Thanks for your hard work; I know it has been a headache…: aspirin or Tylenol packet

I’ll help you see this project through…: goofy joke glasses

I know you’re feeling snowed under right now…: inexpensive snow globe

Don’t worry, it will be fine OR You’re a doll…: box of worry dolls

Many motivated and marvelous volunteers…: M&Ms

You take the cake…: cupcakes

Thanks for working your buns off…: hot-cross buns or cinnamon rolls

A toast to a job well done…: plastic wine glass filled with jellybeans

Let me know when I can come out…: construction paper doghouse

A noteworthy accomplishment…: memo or note pads

Let’s celebrate…: party whistles

You are “berry” special…: fresh berries or jam

Thanks to you we’ll soon have this project wrapped up…: wrapping paper

Hugs and kisses…: Hershey’s chocolate kisses

I’ll stick with you…: stick of gum

Thanks for sharing your creative juices…: box of juice

Thanks for rising to the expectations…: packet of yeast


Have more ideas about how to recognize volunteers?  Send your suggestions to Andrew Feldman at the United States Tennis Association.

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