Feeling appreciated for work done is important to everyone, paid or not, but with volunteers it is especially important to not only express your appreciation verbally but to also express it in a palpable way such as with a certificate. Many organizations, schools and businesses, provide handbooks that address the importance of volunteer recognition and appreciation. A common suggestion is to provide certificates to volunteers. The certificate should provide specific information about the volunteer's service, and it should be suitable for framing. Certificates can be purchased and filled out by hand, or templates can be partially filled out on the computer and then printed and signed.
Include the complete and formal name of the organization presenting the certificate. Use a bold font that is larger than that of other wording on the certificate. Include the organization logo. Use formal language in wording the certificate. Avoid abbreviations and vary the font type and size. Insert spaces between each line of text, and center all text.
Insert the wording. You could begin with a standard phrase like, "This certificate of appreciation (or recognition) is presented by (organization name) to (volunteer name)." Insert the volunteer's full name in a large bold font. Put a straight line under the volunteer's name so that it stands out from other text.
Below the volunteer's name, insert a statement describing his service. You could say "In recognition of your ongoing volunteer efforts and commitment to your community" or "In thanks for your invaluable volunteer service to the XYZ Program." Include the length of service and special accomplishments, if applicable.
Include spaces for the signature of the authorizing person and the date of signing. Type the name and title of the person who will sign the certificate, and type in the presentation date. Place the signature area at the bottom of the certificate.
- Seattle Public Schools: Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation
- U.S. Office of Head Start: Head Start Volunteer Certificate
- Energize, Inc.: Awards and Special Acknowledgment
Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.