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How to Recognize All Volunteers

Ban Boring Recognition Events

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Susan Ellis at Energize Inc has some great suggestions for making your volunteer recognition events something that people look forward to...not dread.

Our favorite tip is about recognizing everybody. Ellis suggests that in addition to/or in place of the formal recognition process, you act as if everyone present deserves some thanks. Ask the audience questions that a lot of people will qualify to answer, and that they can answer just by standing up and then receiving applause. Here are some sample questions that would work:

  • Who fills more than one assignment here as a volunteer?
  • Who has applied something they learned at orientation?
  • Who has hunted more than 15 minutes for a parking spot?
  • Who has met the Executive Director before tonight?
  • Who is working at a paying job?
  • Who recruited a friend or relative to become a volunteer here?
  • Who speaks more than one language?

Ellis says that these questions are like an instant poll, and by the time people rise several times, they will feel very included.

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