Want to keep your volunteers motivated and loyal to your organization?
A vital factor in volunteer retention is acknowledging the time and effort these great people dedicate to your cause. However, as a nonprofit, your budget for recognition gifts may be somewhat limited.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to show how much you appreciate the work your volunteers do. In this article, we’ll take a look at great recognition gifts (on a budget) for volunteers.
A Few Affordable Ideas for Starters
This topic is so popular among volunteer coordinators that we have actually touched on the subject before. In this post from back in 2009, we offered several budget-friendly ideas:
- Give a framed snapshot of your volunteer as a keepsake. Simply print out a digital photo and slip it into a dollar-store frame.
- Present your volunteer with a “start” of a plant. Think “dollar store” again for small pots.
- Collect favorite recipes of each staff member and compile into a booklet. Make it a theme (favorite soups, desserts, etc.), or just wing it.
- Check with your grocer for a possible donation of cookies, nuts, or fresh fruit. Any of these wrapped in colored cellophane make an attractive treat.
More Budget-Friendly Ideas
Coming up with budget-friendly volunteer recognition gift ideas is more about creativity than anything else. Take for example the following ideas:
- Look into purchasing Amazon gift cards, if your budget allows. These can be purchased in almost any denomination.
- Meet with a local restaurant to see if it will donate coupons for free meals.
- Approach establishments in your area for coupons for complimentary goods or services.
- Touch base with local entertainment (movie theaters, etc.) for the possibility of free passes.
- Approach a local candy store/chocolatier for donations.
- Partner with a corporation that will provide awards and allow the company to include its logo on the gifts.
- Give T-shirts with your organization’s logo. This makes a very appropriate gift and also provides extra PR at the same time!
Whatever you choose to give, don’t forget to include a handwritten thank-you note. This personalizes your gift and shows that you go the extra mile.
The ideas listed here show you don’t have to break the bank to recognize your volunteers. Instead, you may just need to get a little creative or do some networking. Your efforts to offer rewards will be well-spent: volunteers who feel appreciated and integral to your organization will keep coming back to give you their invaluable gift of time.