Revised as of November 16, 2009

   The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

now available for purchase as a paperback & an ebook from Energize, Inc.

Completely revised and updated!
Published January 2014.

Recognizing Online Volunteers
Using the Internet to Honor ALL Volunteers

Recognition of a volunteer, no matter where he or she performs service, is the act of acknowledging a person's contribution to a nonprofit/civil society organization and those it serves. Recognition contributes to volunteers staying committed to an organization, and gets the attention of potential volunteers -- and donors -- as well.

In traditional, offline settings, much of the inspiration and recognition for volunteers occurs informally rather than formally: volunteers coming in contact with staff members over coffee, talking with board members and other volunteers at special events, seeing first hand how their contributions are used onsite at the organization, etc. Formal, traditional recognition of volunteers has included special gatherings, small gifts or discounts at local businesses, but it's the informal recognition that keeps volunteers coming back.

In addition, organizations should also incorporate use of the Internet to recognize the efforts of ALL volunteers, both those who perform most of their service from home, work, school or other remote computers, and those who perform their service onsite, face-to-face. With cyberspace, it's never been easier to show volunteers -- and the world -- that volunteer contributions play a key part in an organization's successes.

General Suggestions:

Specific Ideas for Recognizing Online Volunteers  
Suggestions to Use the Internet to Honor ALL Volunteers
Me and my VERA from BPEACE In November 2010, I received a VERA (Volunteer Excellence Recognition Award) from Business Council for Peace (BPEACE), a USA-based nonprofit that recruits business professionals to help entrepreneurs in countries emerging from war, like Rwanda and Afghanistan, to create and expand businesses and employment (particularly for women). I received the award as recognition for my online volunteering work with BPEACE. I then posted a photo of myself holding the award online, posted it to my Facebook page, to my blog, etc. So in addition to making me feel a part of BPEACE and feeling appreciated for my contributions, I got to help further build excitement for an organization I care about.

There are even more suggestions about how to recognize online volunteers and how to use online resources to honor ALL volunteers in The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook.

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