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Top Ways to Recognise Your Volunteers
March 15, 2016

Recognise your volunteers during National Volunteer Week - (9th-15th of May, 2016

Over 173 million hours of volunteer work is contributed each year to organisations across Victoria and this is worth in excess of $4.9 billion to the Victorian economy annually.

As we increase our participation rates and build on our vibrant associations, more volunteers will be needed to meet this increasing demand.  

Volunteering builds collective efficacy by bestowing a sense of altruism, developing skills and inspiring people to work together to solve problems and take action to improve the delivery of basketball across Regional Victoria.

Basketball Victoria Country recognises every volunteer and the important role that they undertake in their local community and it is a key objective to grow and enhance volunteering across our organisation.

There are many ways to recognise your volunteers for their outstanding contributions.  These are just a few:

•    Present your volunteers with a certificate to commemorate anniversaries of involvement. Acknowledging and appreciating their active contribution and marking the date of their anniversary.

•    Hold a special ‘thank-you’ social function, with the guests of honour, being the volunteers. A simple morning tea or office party will ensure everyone gets on board to celebrate the roles of volunteers in your organisation.

•    Write letters to the volunteer’s family, letting them know how much the person’s work has contributed, and thank the family for supporting the volunteer in their efforts.

•    Give your volunteers a ‘pat on the back,’ differently. By tracing your hand on a plain piece of paper and writing ‘Here’s a pat on the back for_______ thank you for your hard work.’ Allow staff members who are in contact with the volunteers an opportunity to make one in recognition of the service of particular volunteers. Hang them all together for visual impact.

•    Give them a mug with the company logo or one with a ‘thank-you’ motif and Tweet or Facebook a photo with them and their new coffee break addition, posting directly to your account. Showing your interest in your volunteers on social media will make them feel appreciated and builds an online community for your volunteers.

•    Purchase a jar, and have employees write encouraging ‘post it notes’ about volunteers when they have a positive interaction with them. Urge all employees to participate and at a ‘thank you’ function held for volunteers you can read out all the lovely messages that were said about them.

•    Create a climate where volunteers feel comfortable and motivated to work, by saying ‘thank you’ and greeting your volunteers by name, provides a work culture of acceptance and gratitude.

•    Use quotes from volunteers in leaflets and annual reports, small things like including their name on a program they have helped organise, does not cost the organisation while being priceless to the individual volunteer.

•    Nominate your volunteers for community awards. Look on our website for a comprehensive list of awards a volunteer can be nominated for in our Volunteering Awards Calendar.

•    Accept that an individual volunteer’s ability to commit may change over time, and still appreciate their contributions to the organisation.

•    Share the results of program evaluations with volunteers so they can see their impact on clients and programs.

•    Ask volunteers opinions when developing new policies and strategies.

•    Provide letters of reference for your volunteers and let them know you are happy to do this.

•    Recommend volunteers to prospective employers.

•    Offer to help volunteers prepare information about their volunteer role they can include in their resumes, emphasising the skills they have developed through their volunteer work.

•    Have staff and clients write comments and quotes about the difference volunteers make, and have these printed in a booklet and mailed out or shared at a recognition event.

Register for Volunteer week this year at www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au which also has resources available for associations.

Thank you to Volunteering Australia

DAVID HUXTABLE
MANAGER
BASKETBALL VICTORIA COUNTRY