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July 21, 2022

50+ Ways to Recognize and Thank People

Are you looking for ways to celebrate your volunteers throughout the year and during this year's National Celebration of Pro Bono? Thanks to our colleagues at Community Legal Services of Arizona for sharing this list of 50+ ways to thank your volunteers!

  1. Say thank you directly to the person in person (be specific about what you appreciate)
  2. Send an email message to the person (say what you appreciate and how it helped)
  3. Send a written note to the person
  4. Leave a phone message of appreciation for the person who helped
  5. Contact the person’s supervisor/employer and tell how the person contributed
  6. Recommend the person for an award that another group is offering
  7. Feed a person you want to thank (chocolate often is best)
  8. Offer to go get lunch (especially great when a colleague is very busy and stressed)
  9. Recommend the person to be a speaker or trainer
  10. Ask them to become a mentor for someone and say why you think they would be good at this
  11. Give the person an opportunity to build a relationship with a mentor
  12. Get the person’s name printed in a newspaper or magazine
  13. Give the person a break (whatever amount of time is possible)
  14. Remember their birthday
  15. Get a Judge to write the person a letter thanking them for what they did
  16. Recommend a great volunteer (best in a list of 3) when there’s a potential “paying customer”
  17. Offer free opportunities for training and developing skills
  18. Remember their family members’ names and ask about them (you can keep notes)
  19. Invite them to a special event
  20. Give an award from your organization
  21. Take lunch or a pizza party to the person and their colleagues
  22. Provide opportunities to build relationships by serving as co-counsel on a case
  23. Give the person your total undivided attention and your time and REALLY LISTEN to them
  24. Encourage a grateful client to send a thank you note or call to thank someone
  25. Give flowers
  26. Give a gift certificate or card (if possible, one that was donated)
  27. Value their unique schedule & time pressures by being flexible about scheduling
  28. Get back to a person who helped early on and let them know results obtained for the client
  29. Arrange opportunities to interact with Judges
  30. For a firm attorney, get their good work publicized in the firm’s newsletter or intranet
  31. Make a donation in their name to a cause that is important to them
  32. Recommend the person to serve on an important committee or task force that interests them
  33. Tell a colleague about what the person accomplished
  34. Tell the person’s mother/father/son/daughter/spouse about how they helped someone
  35. Be responsive.  Give top priority to any request from someone who has helped you.
  36. Drop into the person’s office and surprise them with a small gift (chocolate is good)
  37. Take their photo and post it on a “thank you” board or online (with permission only!)
  38. Learn about an individual’s personal preferences to know how they like to be recognized
  39. Write a letter of commendation and submit it for a performance review or personnel file
  40. Know the name of their partner or assistant and refer to them by name
  41. Send special occasion cards for a milestone event or personal accomplishment in their life
  42. Take “time out” together for a quick stretch or refreshment during a long work challenge
  43. Ask the person their personal preferred way to communicate such as phone, email, snail, text
  44. Spell their name correctly.  Always proof read twice to be sure their name is right.
  45. Find out if they prefer their given name, nick name, credentials, etc. & use what they prefer
  46. Report the person’s accomplishments to publications for their professional organization
  47. Find out what school they attended and submit an item for the alumni newsletter or website
  48. Send an electronic thank you card
  49. Save good news and let the person know they are the first person to hear it
  50. Refer to the person as an “expert” when introducing them in public
  51. Ask a legislator to draft a “citation” or recognition piece to recognize a person
  52. Have coffee, water or other preferred drink ready when the person arrives to help
  53. Call the day before to remind the person about an appointment, seminar, or meeting
  54. Send post cards or greeting cards or notes on holidays
  55. Send an annual THANK YOU at Thanksgiving!
  56. Give shirts that acknowledge volunteers, such as “I’m a volunteer with…”
  57. Give movie tickets to someone who loves movies
  58. Give a certificate for a neck massage
  59. Include the person’s name in an event program
  60. Let a volunteer say “no” sometimes with NO guilt
  61. Tell the person how what they did helped accomplish the organization’s mission
  62. Submit a volunteer to receive a token of recognition from someone influential/famous
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