Volunteers are not paid to do work for organizations and getting them to stay and appreciate their contribution does not require monetary resources as well. It is essential to develop a continuous process to thank and recognize the efforts of your volunteers to help them stay fulfilled and committed to the organization’s cause.

Why do people volunteer?

To be able to fully understand how to devise a good program on how to motivate volunteers, it is imperative to know the reasons why people volunteer.

These are the general reasons why people volunteer:

  • To contribute to the community
  • To utilize their skills and experiences
  • To advocate for the organization’s cause
  • To uncover one’s strengths
  • To meet other people
  • To join their peers
  • To improve their job profiles
  • To meet religious duties or cultural beliefs


Each organization is different and recognition programs should be designed based on the organization’s core culture but there are general ways that can be applied in order to shape a good recognition program.


Make recognition a priority and research for ways to continuously improve it. Assign someone in your organization to monitor and implement this.


Try to do it as often as you can in an informal manner to sincerely show your appreciation. Scheduling times to let volunteers know can be helpful to ensure we don’t forget in the busyness of things.


Do appreciate people in different ways either verbal or written. Sometimes a nice note can make all the difference.


Appreciate your volunteers in ways that appeals to them. Understand that each individual is different and so recognizing them should be based on their personality as well.