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How to Reward and Incentivise your Volunteers

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


On average there are four volunteers for every paid member of staff in a small charity.* Undoubtedly, the impact of volunteers cannot be underestimated; they are the backbone of the voluntary sector. With this in mind, it's important to regularly review and improve how we reward and incentivise our volunteers for their dedication and commitment. Ultimately, an appreciated volunteer workforce is not only excellent for morale, but makes recruiting new volunteers and retaining existing ones much easier.


There are a number of initiatives on offer that help you to thank your volunteers at no/low-cost. These schemes are also a great way to strengthen your volunteer offering and attract new volunteers. We've collated a few below.


- Room to Reward: A unique and tangible volunteer recognition offer, whereby unsold hotel rooms are matched with charity volunteers who have gone above and beyond, allowing them a well-deserved break - free of charge. Register your charity to receive a limited number of nominations annually, which you can use to reward and thank your most inspirational volunteers. Find out more here.


- Charity Worker Discounts: Your volunteers can access exclusive discounts, cashback and vouchers for a wide range of outlets, enabling them to save money on everything from their food shops, to summer holidays, and car breakdown cover. Find out more here.


- Free Comedy Tickets at Komedia: 3SG member organisations benefit from free tickets to Komedia's Krater Comedy Club every Saturday. Why not treat your volunteers to a fun evening of free entertainment, by offering them the option to request tickets for a date of their choosing? Click here to request tickets. Big thanks to Komedia for this!


- Offer Training and Development Opportunities: All residents within Bath and North East Somerset who currently volunteer, or would like to, are eligible for free volunteer training. You can check out the courses here or contact ralph.lillywhite@mungos.org if you have a specific request. You could also offer to sign them up to low-cost Charity Job courses or one of the Open University's free courses.


- Foster Virtual Engagement: Allow your volunteers a space to get to know each other, share stories and encourage connections. This could take the form of creating a Facebook group for them, sending out regular volunteer newsletters via Mailerlite, and spotlighting your volunteers achievements via social media spotlights to say Thank You. The little things can have a big impact; sometimes volunteers don't realise the difference they've made until someone else points it out and says 'Hey, look what you've done!'.


- Celebrate Volunteer Anniversaries and Milestones: This could take the form of award ceremonies, such as the one held by the Bath Racecourse Vaccination Centre in February 2022. This celebratory event recognised the contribution of many volunteers, with special thanks paid to star volunteer Susanne Haselgrove, who was presented with flowers and interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset to share her experience of completing over 100 volunteer shifts.

Incentivising through physical or online volunteer leader boards, milestone celebrations and certificates, or simply taking the time to send special, personal thanks on volunteer anniversaries, can really help to motivate and recognise your volunteers for their amazing contributions.


There are many ways to reward and incentivise your volunteers, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have a particular way that you like to say Thank You to your volunteers, we'd love to hear it! Get in touch at contact@3sg.org.uk and we'll give you a shout out 😊



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