How to word a volunteer appreciation certificate

Updated March 23, 2017

Seattle Public Schools provides a handbook for volunteer management which covers the importance of volunteer recognition and appreciation. One suggestion is to provide certificates to volunteers. The certificate should provide specific information about the volunteer’s service, and be suitable for framing.

Include the complete and formal name of the organisation presenting the certificate. Use a bolded font that is larger than that of other wording on the certificate. Include the organisation 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 centre all text.

Insert the wording. You could begin with a standard phrase like, “This certificate of appreciation (or recognition) is presented by (organisation name) to (volunteer name).” Insert the volunteer’s full name in a large bolded font. Put a line under the volunteer's name so it stands out from other text.

Below the volunteer’s name, insert a statement describing his or her 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 authorising 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.


When creating multiple certificates, it helps to design a template that includes logos and other information that does not vary. For ideas, you might want to check out certificates used by other organisations.

Things You'll Need

  • Certificates
  • Pen and Pencils
  • Paper
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About the Author

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.