Saying “thank you” is a simple-but-powerful way to brighten someone’s mood and inspire them to continue doing great work. For an organization or group, gratitude often takes the form of a certificate of appreciation awarded to the deserving individual. A certificate not only delivers the message of gratitude, but gives the recipient a tangible memento that can continue to motivate them down the road.
The exact wording on a certificate of appreciation can vary in the particulars, but a majority of certificates follow the same basic formula:
- The Group or Organization Giving the Certificate (Steward Chemical)
- Title (Certificate of Appreciation, Certificate of Recognition, Certificate of Achievement)
- Presentation Wording (is hereby awarded to, presented to)
- Recipient’s Name (James Williams)
- Reason (in recognition of 20 years of outstanding work)
- Date (August 21, 2015)
- Signature (Frank C. Manns)
- Signer’s Title (CEO, Steward Chemical)
As you can see, there’s not a lot of wording on a typical certificate of appreciation. Because it’s intended to be put on display, it should be short with important words (like the title and recipient’s name) in large, vivid type. If you want to elaborate on the person’s accomplishments, use another medium such as an email or letter.
General Certificate of Appreciation Tips
While certificates of appreciation/recognition are generally short and straightforward, there are a few tips to keep in mind when creating one:
1. Follow any applicable guidelines. If you’re creating the certificate on behalf of an established organization, there may already be guidelines, templates, or even a full procedure in place for awarding certificates. Even if using the standard material is optional, you should do so unless you have a compelling reason to deviate. Remember that the point is to make the recognition official.
2. Keep it formal. Again, this is supposed to be an official certificate awarded on behalf of a group. If the group itself is informal (a sports team, for example), then the language can be a little more breezy and fun. But in most cases, it’s better to stick with formal wording on the certificate.
3. Use a template. The format and overall presentation of the certificate are as important as the wording. If the group presenting the award already has standard certificate templates, use one of those. Otherwise, you can find templates online, including many for Microsoft Powerpoint and Word. For a branch of the military or other highly specific case, you may want to look for an online store that specializes in such certificates.
Here are some certificate wording examples for various situations.
This Certificate of Achievement is Hereby Awarded to
For Her Contributions to the
Principal, Carverville High School
Awarded: April 14, 2015
Certificate of Recognition
is hereby awarded to:
for his outstanding contribution to
The Rothstone Project
Awarded: June 22, 2015
CEO, Marigold Systems
The Ashbrook Eagles appreciate
For his leadership throughout the 2015 season
September 19, 2015
Appreciates the Generous Support of
Director, The Bridgewater Foundation
September 12, 2015