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Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong: A Look at Volunteer Recognition

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Volunteer recognition is one of the few aspects of volunteer involvement about which we actually have quite a bit of reliable information. Mostly this is because volunteer recognition is simple to evaluate since recognition is, after all, in the eye of the receiver: “Does the volunteer feel appropriately recognized or not?” You can therefore evaluate recognition techniques through straightforward opinion studies, unlike other aspects of volunteer management that have seen far too many opinion-based surveys that reveal not much more than the ignorance of those responding to the questionnaire.

There are a number of interesting and useful studies about the most effective ways to recognize volunteers. In this issue of Research to Practice, Publishing Editor Emeritus Steve McCurley discusses one such study from Volunteer Canada.