The Three F’s of Volunteer Recognition: Food, Fun, and Fame

Posted on June 27, 2011. Filed under: Good Ideas Stick, Tips for HandsOn Partners | Tags: , |

Part 1 of 3: FoodGuest blog by Tibby Larson
HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley

I am the Volunteer & Supplemental Labor Coordinator for City of Salem Parks. I’m a member of Mid-Valley Volunteer Manager’s Association, the Treasurer for the National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government, a certified trainer of volunteer management for Oregon Volunteers! AND an avid fan of HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley! Parks utilizes over 55,000 of volunteer hours each year.

I consider volunteer recognition one of the most essential and exciting parts of my work. I heard a rule for recognition a long time ago that I love. The three F’s – Food, Fun & Fame. Often, I’ll recognize the staff who are working with or leading volunteers at the same time and in the same way.

Food… the favorite candy bar of a volunteer makes a great birthday gift along with a little hand made or computer made card. If you’re not giving out food, talk about food… have volunteers write the description of our favorite sandwich their name on a meeting name tag. A corny play on words along with a goody can make a memorable recognition. Some of my favorites include “it is a treat working with you” written on a little computer made card, handed out with a Rice Krispy treat. Gold foil wrapped chocolate coins from the bulk food bin and the card says “you’re priceless or you’re worth your weight in gold.” Foil covered snowmen, “there’s snowbody like you.” The sillier, the better! Sprinkle candy down the middle of the table at work parties, put hot cider packets at everyone’s work station, serve cookies at meetings, have fun with it!

Now is a perfect opportunity to make sure your volunteers know how much they mean to your organization!

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