An estimated 77.3 million Americans volunteer every year. That’s roughly 6.9 billion hours of service! The average value of this time is $24.14 per hour. If you do the math, that’s $167 billion worth of time selflessly given to nonprofits across America each year. Volunteers everywhere deserve a big pat on the back. These volunteer thank-you gift ideas can help your organization show just how much you value their time, energy and support.
Volunteer thank-you gift ideas
- Wearable gifts: Whether you’re looking to thank newbies or reward years of devoted service, volunteers will appreciate gifts they can wear. These gifts show a connection to your organization and help get your message out there. Consider thanking new volunteers for joining your team with a logoed T-shirt. Give seasoned volunteers lapel pins to clip on their badge or lanyard.
- Public acknowledgment: How do all those events and fundraisers go off without a hitch? It’s likely because of dedicated volunteers lending a hand behind the scenes. Next time your organization hosts an event—either virtual or in-person—hold a volunteer recognition ceremony either before or after the occasion. Present each volunteer with a certificate along with a thank-you gift like a travel tumbler or water bottle. Imprint volunteer names and hours of service on event programs and table tents. And spotlight their contributions on your website, social channels and in your newsletter.
- Peer-to-peer recognition: Peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact than recognition from a superior. Provide a compliment box and cube of paper so people can leave positive messages about volunteers. Or provide each volunteer with a dry erase board imprinted with the phrase, “You are great because …” Encourage staff, board members and other volunteers to fill in the blank.
- Continuing education: Additional training and education is the gift that keeps on giving. Provide volunteers with access to training normally reserved for paid staff or bring them along to an educational event. Invite long-term volunteers to a lunch-n-learn or bring them as your guest to a conference. Provide a branded journal and pen set for notetaking and as a gift to remember the occasion.
- Recognition video: If a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine how much a thank-you video would be worth to them. Ask staff, board members and clients to record a message of thanks for all your hard-working volunteers. Show your thank-you video at your next volunteer appreciation event and send volunteers home with their own copy saved to a branded USB pen. Don’t forget to share the video on your website and social pages, too.
Without volunteers, your organization just wouldn’t be the same. These volunteer thank-you gift ideas are the perfect way to show your hardworking volunteers that your appreciation goes beyond words.