How much are your volunteers worth? According to a recent study by the organization Independent Sector, a volunteer hour is worth just over $24. Of course, you would probably argue that these dedicated folks are priceless! Why not express your gratitude to the people who willingly give their time, talents, and energy to your cause with volunteer appreciation gifts? Don’t worry, these don’t have to break the bank. Read on for 7 ideas for gifts that are truly thoughtful gestures.
Chances are, you already hand out t-shirts, visors, or hats to your volunteers. Wearing brightly colored, matching apparel helps them stand out and be easily identified at volunteer programs and events in the community. For dedicated volunteers, consider special, higher-end items.
These could be hoodies, polo shirts, or track jackets. Having them monogrammed or embroidered with the volunteer’s name is another super idea. Getting something a little extra special will help them feel extra special too.
2. Toys and Games
Volunteers work hard, so why not help them play hard too? Board games, yard games, or toys that bring out their inner child make great gifts for Volunteer Appreciation Week or anytime. It’s not hard to find games that relate back to your organization or charity either.
3. Reusable Totes
Just about everyone can use an additional tote bag. That’s probably especially true of active, on-the-go folks like your volunteers. If they’re attending events, they need something to carry their water bottle, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, clipboards, and other gear.
Don’t settle for a tired old canvas bag or cheap foldable. Opt for either a high quality, reinforced tote — again, a monogram is a fantastic touch — or a high-quality collapsible bag that can tuck into their purse or pocket.
4. Homemade Treats
Particularly if your organization is small and you know your volunteers’ tastes, homemade treats are a thoughtful gift. Is there someone on your staff whose hobby is baking or candy making? Enlist their expertise.
Everyone can pitch in to help decorate the packaging and affix labels or gift tags. For an added bonus, include a gift certificate to your local coffee shop or a small bag of coffee from a local roaster!
5. DIY Mason Jar Gifts
Similarly, check out the wide variety of mason jar gifts out there. While jarred mixes for brownies, cocoa, cakes, and 16-bean soup are perenially popular, they barely scratch the surface of possibilities.
There are plenty of clever homemade presents that aren’t edible too. Think laundry soap, play dough, potpourri, or even a mini-bar in a jar!
6. Seasonal Items
Do your volunteers show up to events without fail, rain or shine? Make things a little easier for them with seasonal gifts. These could include sunscreen and lip balm, foldable ponchos, umbrellas, gloves, scarves, or hand warmers.
These days, everyone carries around a smartphone, and plenty of folks also have a tablet or laptop too. If your volunteers are plugged in, support their tech-savviness with gifts like earbuds, thumb drives, phone stands, cases or charms, or styluses.
What Do You Give as Volunteer Appreciation Gifts?
Odds are that if you rely on volunteers to help spread the word about your organization, you don’t have a lot of money to spare. And you certainly don’t want to dip into donations to fund lavish presents. These low-cost but high-impact volunteer appreciation gifts are a perfect way to say “thank you volunteers!”
Looking for more information on how to grow your organization and cultivate great relationships with donors and volunteers alike? Stick around and check out our blog posts!