7 Amazing Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

  1. Reusable drinkware
  2. Custom tote bags
  3. Power banks
  4. Mini plants
  5. Personalized chocolates
  6. Trendy PopSockets
  7. Useful multi-tools

When it comes to expressing gratitude, a simple “thanks” doesn’t always cut it. That’s especially true if you run an organization that relies on volunteers! From animal shelters to nursing homes, there are countless facilities across the globe who need the help of community members to accomplish their goals. Most of the time, these folks even do so without being paid a dime, so they’re more than deserving of your appreciation!

Offering your volunteers a thoughtful gift can go a long way when you want them to know you value them. There’s just something about being given a small token of appreciation that makes a person feel important.

1. Reusable Drinkware

Your volunteers are busy. They might even be juggling a full-time job while they donate their time and efforts to your cause. Gifting them something as thoughtful as a reusable water bottle shows that you care about their health, and it encourages them to take some time to refuel. Plus, if you customize it with your logo, your brand will travel the community along with your volunteer. Talk about a win-win!



Pro Tip: If you really want to go above and beyond, write a handwritten note to each volunteer and stick it inside their water bottle. You could even tie a ribbon or bow around the neck of the bottle to add a little extra pizazz!

2. Custom Tote Bags

Have you ever tried carrying all your stuff in one hand as you fumble for your keys to unlock your office door in the other? Been there, done that! Tote bags are one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give your volunteers because they literally lift a weight from their shoulders. Whether they’re toting around library books or educational flyers, they’ll appreciate this kind gesture to help them get the job done.



Pro Tip: One way to jazz up your tote bag gift is to fill each bag with goodies tailored to each volunteer. For example, if you know one of your team members loves popcorn or candy, fill it to the brim with some of their favorites. This will show them that you put some extra thought into their gift, and as we all know, it’s the thought that counts!

3. Power Banks

As your volunteers are running from place to place, the last thing they want is a dead battery. After all, how will they respond to emails or pick up those urgent phone calls? Offering them something as simple as a portable charger will make them feel valued and make their lives a bit easier. There is nothing worse than seeing that “low battery” notification. With one of these handy tools at their side, they’ll never worry about running out of juice while posting about your cause on social media!



Pro Tip: If a power bank just doesn’t seem like enough to say “thanks,” try including it in a small gift basket that has some other small items inside like charging cords, phone cases, and even stationary! You can save a few bucks by gathering these extra items at your local dollar store, too. Get creative!

4. Mini Plants

Volunteering isn’t a cake walk. It’s a lot of work to care for your organization each day! Taking the time to practice self-care is especially important when you’re doing a lot of work with little-to-no pay. Encourage your volunteers to take some time for themselves by gifting them mini plants to start an herb garden at their house or apartment. Not to mention, if you’re running an eco-friendly organization, there’s no better gift! Studies have shown that adding greenery to your space can reduce anxiety and depression levels.


Pro Tip: By offering them a custom plant with an inspirational message on the front, you’re doing your part in encouraging a well-balanced lifestyle. You could even boost your gift of self-care by pairing your custom planters with a mini garden trowel and gardening gloves!

5. Personalized Chocolates

Let’s be honest—Chocolate makes everything better. From stressful days to just wanting something to snack on, sometimes all it takes is something a little sweet to change your entire day. Chocolate is known to release endorphins in the brain, so when your volunteers are stressing over their to-do list, they’d appreciate being able to turn to a handful of chocolates!




Pro Tip: Want to up your gifting game? Pair some custom chocolates with a decorative dish. Plus, you could include a small card next to the chocolates with a message of gratitude on the inside. These small efforts go a long way!

6. Trendy PopSockets

It’s hard to believe we ever survived using our cell phones without a PopSocket attached to the back. Can you even imagine scrolling through Instagram or watching a video without having one of these handy tools at the ready? Offer your volunteers a fun PopSocket with your logo on it. That way, everywhere they go, your brand will go too!




Pro Tip: One way to spruce up this gift is to attach the PopSocket to a card with a nice message written on the inside. You could also include it in a mailer that you send to your volunteer’s house, with some confetti stuffed on the inside! They’ll be surprised you went above and beyond to express your gratitude. It’s the little things!

7. Useful Multi-Tools

If you’ve ever needed a pair of scissors while away from your desk, you know exactly how annoying it can be to not have the tools you need to do your job. Luckily, there’s a solution that can help us all feel a little more equipped: the multi-tool! Think of it like the Swiss Army Knife your grandparents used to carry around in their pocket back in the day, but with your custom message printed on the front.



Pro Tip: No matter what your volunteers do for your organization, I’d be willing to bet they’d appreciate having one of these to carry around with them each day. From opening envelopes to making small repairs throughout the office, these little guys can almost do it all!

Whether you have a low budget or a large one, there are plenty of ways you can express your gratitude to your volunteers. Heck, even a homemade thank you card can go a long way!

When it comes to helping nonprofits, volunteers go above and beyond. Taking the time for recognition is always worth it. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to how much time and effort your team has dedicated to your cause!

References:

Does chocolate make you happy? (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2020, from https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/does-chocolate-make-you-happy/

About the author

Kelsey Skager

Kelsey is a master of promotional products with over five years of marketing and industry experience. She is proud to have been featured on ABC 7 Chicago News and NPR.