Effective awards and rewards

Recognition and Rewards
Members of your club provide invaluable services to you, to your club and to your community. Find a fitting way to show your appreciation—and keep members motivated. Give your club the freedom to show its gratitude in a way that fits the person and the situation.


Awards are more formal gestures of appreciation. Usually publicly presented, they may be tangible gifts like a framed group photo from the event that a member coordinated. Or it might simply be a certificate or pin—anything that stands as an enduring memento of gratitude.

Depending on the effort being recognized, you may present awards at a club meeting, or even an event specially organized to honor members’ contributions. Notify the media of your special awards event using tips from our public relations toolkit. Regardless of what you do, encourage them to share how they accomplished the task so they can live the experience again—and others can learn from it.

Some awards are earned by serving as a leader, reaching a certain goal in fundraising or bringing in new members. These awards can serve as motivation when presented in a timely way.

Take a look at this resource for some creative ideas for awards and rewards. And remember, when it comes to membership, there are two types of awards that hardworking Kiwanians can now earn: Traditional awards and The Formula-specific awards.


Rewards are a more casual way to say thank you. Often personal, they encourage the recipient while also acknowledging a job well done. Because they are tailored to the recipient and often delivered unexpectedly, rewards generally have long-lasting effects on motivation.

Here are some simple tips for rewarding a job well done:  
  • Share it. Tell others how much you appreciate someone’s contributions to the club and how glad you are that he or she is a member. 
  • Shake it up. Vary your approach. Write notes, say “thank you,” provide spontaneous treats or hold a formal dinner or awards ceremony. 
  • Personalize it. Knowing your members’ interests will help you recognize them in a meaningful way.
  • Make it appropriate. Match the level of gratitude to the level of effort or achievement.  
  • Make it a priority. Designate a member of your club to focus on consistent and frequent recognition, and encourage all members to consistently identify what others have done to make the club better. 
  • Be consistent. Regular recognition, such as a Member of the Year award, helps ensure that members’ big picture contributions to the club’s success are recognized too. 
  • Be timely. Recognition has a greater impact when given soon after the member’s contribution.
  • Be sincere. When you recognize a member, take time to truly reflect on their value to the club.