I think that there is a tendency to not put value on things volunteers do, be it time or actual work produced. It's obtained for free so it has no perceived value. It's a sad thing because I bet there are a million stories like these, where a volunteer did something, it was taken for granted or misused or appropriated without credit, and the volunteer quit helping the organization.
So often this is true. But! Just to restore your faith in humanity, I have a totally opposite story.
My dad is a semi-professional photographer (he does weddings and portraits and stuff for money, but it's not his full-time day job). He got involved with the high school drama program at the school his church used on Sundays -- he'd taken pictures of our shows when we were in high school, but never thought he'd be still doing stuff with high schoolers after we were all out of college.
So he offered to take pictures of their show. Naturally, they were skeptical at first because so many photographers have no idea how to be unobtrusive during a live performance. He showed up in all black, his camera flash-less and on an easily movable monopod, and took pictures of the dress rehearsal. Then he printed out a bunch of 4x6 images as well as a couple poster sized montages. Scattered them all over the tables the kids were going to eat their meal on in between the shows on Saturday, for them to keep.
They. Were. Over. The. Moon.
Afterwards, the director asked, "Uh, so how much do we owe you?" And my dad said, "Uh...nothing."
Yeah, they adored him and he kept up that relationship
all three years they lived there. He did senior portraits and professional headshots (for money) for a bunch of the students and kept doing pictures of their shows for free. They loved him, bragged about him to others, said thank you a million times. And at their end of the year celebration banquet dinner thing (at least once, maybe more), they gave him a plaque and honored him for his contribution to their program.
So sometimes they do
appreciate you even when you offer it free!