By Penny Kern
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received as a volunteer manager was to ASK THE VOLUNTEER what type of recognition they like. Nothing was more frustrating to me than to receive a piece of very expensive silver from an organization I helped raise money to provide youth services. I hated (and still do) silver and I thought it was a total waste of money. If they had asked, I could have told them it wasn’t necessary. I had to eventually say something – I think it was the second piece of silver they tried to give me.
The kinds of recognition I like are the ones that took some time and thought because they showed that the organization really knew who I was. Public recognition is ok but it only brings more requests for help from the outside world. Here are a few of my favorite ideas. Share some of yours with us, too.
“No one holds a candle to you!” and you give them a scented candle or pack of small birthday candles.
“You are a LIFESAVER!” and you give them a roll of lifesaver candy
“Your vision is our GUILDING LIGHT!” and you give them a mini flashlight.
“I’m lucky to have your help!” and you give them a rabbit’s foot.
“Thanks for raisin’ the ….(you fill in the rest – bar, tough questions, etc) and give them a small box of raisins.
There’s also a ton of candy bar quotes you can use. If you have a lot of people to recognize, this gets expensive but it shows you really know this person.
Share! I love new ideas.
Penny Kern is retired volunteer manager and a featured blogger.