The Perfect (Free!) Gifts for Volunteers to Truly Show Your Appreciation | Track It Forward

The Perfect (Free!) Gifts for Volunteers to Truly Show Your Appreciation

Written by James McBryan

The holiday season is a stressful time. You have holiday events to attend to, gifts to buy and wrap, food to make. Something that may slip your mind is giving back to your volunteers.

Do they want a gift? What would an appropriate gift be? What budget should I stick to?

It’s definitely a tricky situation to be in. Luckily, we have some easy but thoughtful gifts that your volunteers will love.

As much as we all love the newest things, the most treasured gifts are always those that are given with thoughtful care. Handwritten messages, thoughtful emails, even video messages are going to stick with your volunteers a lot longer than a new candle will. Showing how much you appreciate a volunteer goes a long way.

Below are some ideas to show your appreciation to your volunteers during the holiday season.

A Different Kind of Secret Santa

Secret Santa parties are probably the most common parties during the holiday season. Instead of setting a monetary limit on gifts, why not create a Secret Santa where the gifter writes a handwritten card to the receiver, telling them how much they are appreciated in the organization and what they mean to you. This is a great way to share positive feedback about each other.

Merging Two Parties Into One

Speaking of parties, why not invite volunteers to your staff parties? You’ll be able to bridge any distance between staff and volunteers, and show your volunteers how much you appreciate them. The more the merrier!

Personal RSVPs

Something our Founder, James, does to show his appreciation for his volunteers is to send personal RSVP messages for holiday parties. This kills two birds with one stone because not only does he send out a thoughtful note thanking his volunteers, he’s also getting a better understanding of how many guests he can expect to arrive. People are more likely to respond to an RSVP if they see that you’ve put a lot of effort into inviting them.

Video Message

Although this might take more time than a note, a video message is definitely an uncommon gift that your volunteers are sure to remember. Volunteers will appreciate the time it took for you to create a video message, and it’s more personal than a generic card.

Working With Children? Have Them Thank Volunteers

If you work in a school, have the students write handwritten notes during craft time thanking volunteers for their hard work. Your students can add their personal creative flair to the project, and volunteers can see how their work has impacted a student more directly than they’d see from a note they received from the organization.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts to thank your volunteers. Giving something more personal, even if it’s just a simple note, will always be more appreciated than something bought.