Volunteer Management and Volunteer Recognition Gift Ideas…

Volunteer management, volunteer recruitment and volunteer recognition ideas for you…



Hi Everyone


This week is a little different from the usual ideas from me. We’d like to hear your great ideas for volunteer recognition gifts. Phyllis from the Octagon Center for Arts in the US sent through this question…


volunteer recognition gifts

“Hi Judy, Have you some further suggestions for inexpensive volunteer recognition gifts? I’ve done tiny terracotta pots using lollipops as a flower decorations, candy wrapped in foil paper with a ribbon attached to a coffee coupon from the local coffee shops, donated coffee mugs from a coffee shop filled with teas/coffee/hot chocolate packets, etc. I can’t spend more than $2-3 per gift. Suggestions Please??? Thanks that would be great” – Phyllis


BEYOND QUOTE MAGNETS


Now I’ve spoken a lot about quote magnets as a great inexpensive gift. But they are only available in Australia…


http://morevolunteers.com/productquotemagnets.htm


SO HERE IS THE QUESTION FOR YOU


Have you any suggestions for Phyllis and everyone else on volunteer recognition gifts? We’d all really like to read your thoughts. So take a minute and scroll to the bottom of this post and click on ‘comments’ and add your great ideas…


Cheers


JUDY


P.S. A quote for you…The impact of someone’s life is determined by how many lives that it impacts – Jackie Robinson


From the book Beyond Just Words: 502 Inspirational Quotes for Those Who Serve





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33 Responses to “Volunteer Management and Volunteer Recognition Gift Ideas…”

  1. Hi Everyone

    Have you got any great ideas on inexpensive volunteer recognition gifts. We’d all like to read your ideas. They’ll help others to come up with even more ideas on recognizing their wonderful volunteers.

    Just add your thoughts and comments.

    Cheers

    Judy

    Dr Judy Esmond

  2. Rachel says:

    A cafe chain in Australia have partnered with our national Volunteering body and made available 10% discount vouchers that we can give to volunteers. It’s a nice touch to give them to volunteers. It reinforces the message that volunteering is valuable and deserves reward and recognition in the wider community. Another reward (as opposed to gift) for our longer serving volunteers, are pens with the name of our organisation on them, and we have the volunteers name engraved. This marks 5 years or service.

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Judy,

    We did leather bookmarks for our wedding years ago, and people loved them. Depends on how many people she has, as the set up costs were the most expensive bit, but each piece was cheap after that.

    Karen
    Bendigo, Vic

  4. Michelle Elding says:

    You can make up little positive affirmation cards and tie with a ribbon. A photo of the volunteer doing their volunteer activity and send to them with a thank you note.

    Cheers Michelle

  5. Christine Payne says:

    Hi Judy,

    I like Phyllis, would love to here about other ideas as I have only just started to manage volunteers.

    Christine Payne

  6. June Chapman says:

    We had key rings produced that have a one pound coin-sized token to put in shopping trolleys.

  7. Colleen Charaska says:

    I found inexpensive candles in tins at a local craft store. I think I paid $1 for them. I wrapped in celophane tied with rafia and attached a tag that said “You Light the Way” or “Thank you for Sharing Your Light”

  8. Max Ong says:

    Hi Dr Judy Esmond,

    How about little cactus plants in tiny little pots? To decorate it, try
    using an ice-cream stick with a ribbon and a heart shape with words written on it. The wordings may be, “In Appreciation to
    Mr/Mrs/Miss……”, “Thank You for your Love & Care!”, etc…………..

    Thank you.

    Max Ong | CRO And Volunteer Coordinator
    HCA Hospice Care
    Singapore

  9. Mary says:

    What about a link to this wonderful site: http://www.aulafacil.com/

  10. Mindi says:

    Often times to encourage our hotline volunteers to sign up we use cute things with things that the people can use. Our most recent ones that we use are OUR HOTLINE IS POPPING WITH ACTION. and make a cute card with it and attach it to a small bag of microwave popcorn. Or WE WOULD CRUMBLE WITHOUT YOU… attached to a cute card with chocolate chip cookies….we were able to get the cookies donated to us from a local food pantry and other donors and we found large boxes of inexpensive pop corn at Wal-Mart. OUr volunteers love getting something like this from us each month and it also encourages them to cover our hotline!

  11. Brenda says:

    This year I purchased $25 restaurant gift cards for my top 30 volunteers for only $2 each! at restaurant.com.

  12. Shirley Harvey says:

    Hi Judy
    Could not follow the link. I am making individual Christmas cakes this year for my volunteers. I use my normal xmas cake recipe and put the mixture into muffin pans.

    Regards
    Shirley Harvey
    Project Support Officer
    Tomaree Neighbourhood Centre

  13. Joolie Gibbs says:

    Just a suggestion I have done this year…

    Because they have given me a hand (or 2) this past year, I have given them a hand by giving them a compact shopping bag that fits in or attaches to your handbag. Folds up small to fit into its own carry bag. Cost $2 – $3 from those inexpensive shops. And I also sewed a small applique of a hand on the front – also bought from the inexpensive shop!

    Regards,

    Joolie Gibbs
    Gallery Coordinator
    Gympie Regional Gallery

  14. Alicia Armstrong says:

    Hello from East Texas:

    We are having a Volunteer Christmas party this Sunday at my home asking everyone to bring their favorite dessert and we will just “pig out”. They are getting “Someone Special” awards that come from a special trophy business here and KTBB announces them every day, (there are five). Also at the party I have a special poem for “Goblets” and they receive a special letter from me and a beautiful goblet that was my mother-in-laws, (I have plenty that do not really match), and I put a bow on each one.

    It is a time just for them and the program is not even a year old so I have around 10 volunteers and I can personally spoil them, (not a big group yet). So it will be a lot of fun. I hope this helps.

    Alicia Armstrong, Volunteer Coordinator
    Smith County Sheriff’s Office

  15. Hi Judy

    Some suggestions for inexpensive gifts for volunteers:

    1. A small pocket diary (about $1.95 at newsagents)

    2. Use different coloured felts, fancy beads etc to cut out flower shapes and sew to a safety pin (for brooches) and hair pins

    3. Make new plants out of those you have growing in your garden and give away as gifts

    4. Make rum balls, wrap (as in lollies) in fancy Christmas paper, place in bottles to give away as Christmas presents

    Trust these ideas will help.

    Thanks Judy

    Nooraini

  16. Suzi Lockett says:

    Check the following catalogs on line:
    Current
    Lakeside Collection
    Signals

    All have terrific gifts for volunteers in the $1 arena.

    Suzi Lockett
    Volunteer Services Coordinator
    Kansas City Presbyterian Manor

  17. Lorna Wilson says:

    I, too, use pictures to thank my volunteers but with a slightly different twist.
    I imprint the picture directly on the left facing ( or upper facing) page of the card. then I put a little note as well as a signature under the message on the other side of the page. To be certain that my vounteers know I have personalized each card, I sign and make my notes in blue ink.
    This is very cost effective-yet volunteer effective at the same time.

  18. Colleen Mopyne says:

    You can purchase inexpensive sets of drink coasters at bargain stores that are designed to hold a small photo. Separate these out and give one to each volunteer, inserting a special photo, quote or comment relevant to each vol inside beforehand. Works out at between one & two dollars each , is personalised – and looks great.

  19. Inexpensive, but memorable ideas to celebrate your volunteers. I have found that businesses are willing to donate prizes to celebrate the support that volunteers give to the community. T

    he items can contribute towards lucky door prizes. If you approach 10 bussiness, this will account for minimum of 10 prizes. Hold a special morning tea and during the morning tea give a heart warming speech and hand each volunteer a special personalised scroll, each scroll stating something about the volunteer’s journey within their role, strengths and contributions.

    Sometimes it’s good to get your local council member involved, maybe they can hand the scroll to the volunteer and give a special thank you speech as well.

    Christine Jones
    http://www.flexisupport.org.au

  20. Simone McPherson says:

    An inexpensive gift that we gave out last year was a handmade bookmark.

    Using gold card, printed with a big thank-you, christmas wishes and a quote. The bookmark was laminated and could be added to a card to each volunteer.

    Simone McPherson

  21. Ann Paul says:

    Instead of trying to provide small gifts for all volunteers, especially when we all seem to have so much ’stuff’, we decided to purchase several significant gifts (book vouchers for library volunteers) for a prize draw.

    Feedback suggested our volunteers were happy to be in the draw for a ‘wonderful’ prize, usually drawn at our end of year function. This used the same budget as buying small gifts for everyone.

    Ann Paul

  22. For a volunteer recognition event, my theme was “Service Beyond Measure”.

    I gave each volunteer who attended a small plastic bowl and ice cream scoop from the dollar store, along with a gift certificate from the local ice cream parlour for an ice cream cone (these were donated).

    Annette Urban
    http://www.pathwayscentre.org

  23. Judy Croucher says:

    I have made up little cardboard boxes, punched a flower design in the front and backed the ‘flower’ with a small square of foil.
    Under the lid I have written a small Christmas wish.

    I have dropped six wrapped sweets in the box as a treat. Each box works out at about 1c a box, that is with the sweets.

    I have also designed a bookmark with all 2010 meeting dates printed on the front and a personal message on the back. I then laminated them, these work out less than 2c a piece.

    Judy Croucher

  24. Thanks everyone for taking the time to share your volunteer recognition ideas.

    Really creative and thoughtful ideas. Great work!

    If you want to add your own ideas as well. We would all really like to read them. Just add your comments to the blog. The more the merrier!

    Cheers

    Judy

    Dr Judy Esmond
    http://www.morevolunteers.com

  25. Michelle Preston says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m interested in finding out whether the cafe chain is a National one?
    We gave out Judy’s “quote magnets” with certificates which was well received by our volunteers.
    Thanks,
    Michelle Preston
    LeisureLink Volunteer Program, Canberra.

  26. Hi

    Last Friday we took 120 volunteers to Coolart Homestead in Somers for a picnic. We gave each volunteer a small plastic shopping basket (that can also double up as a delivered meal aid)lined with a Christmas tea towel, a large Christmas mug with tea/coffee/sugar sachets, a mince tart, a piece of fruit, a juice, a packet of mixed sandwiches and a chocolate filled bon bon with a Christmas serviette.

    They were able to enjoy their packed lunch on the lawns listening to the sounds of a local band called Set2. It was a very successful day, lovely sunshine, good music, enjoyable food and great company.

    The volunteers loved have the mug, basket and chocolates to take home.

    We also mailed their International Volunteer Day Certificates to them along with a home made Christmas card.

    As an individual thank you we send each volunteer a personal birthday card on their special days throughout the year.

    Catherine Prisow
    Volunteer Support Officer
    Mornington Peninsula Shire
    http://www.priscm@mornpen.vic.gov.au

  27. Deb says:

    some great ideas – thanks, just wondering as is Michelle above what is the cafe chain offering the discounts. Our office is located in country NSW but we do have a couple of national outlets and am hoping it may be one of these.

    We have for the last couple of years given our volunteers diaries (purchased from Adler) dressed in a gold box with a ribbon and candy cane or note attached. All our volunteers look forward to their diary with great anticipation.

    For international volunteers day I sent out a simple 1 page thank you with an inspirational quote and this was well received as well.

    thanks

    Deb
    Cancer Council NSW

  28. Hi

    Last Friday we took 120 volunteers to Coolart Homestead in Somers for a picnic. We gave each volunteer a small plastic shopping basket (that can also double up as a delivered meal aid)lined with a Christmas tea towel, a large Christmas mug with tea/coffee/sugar sachets, a mince tart, a piece of fruit, a juice, a packet of mixed sandwiches and a chocolate filled bon bon with a Christmas serviette.

    They were able to enjoy their packed lunch on the lawns listening to the sounds of a local band called Set2. It was a very successful day, lovely sunshine, good music, enjoyable food and great company.

    The volunteers loved have the mug, basket and chocolates to take home.

    We also mailed their International Volunteer Day Certificates to them along with a home made Christmas card.

    As an individual thank you we send each volunteer a personal birthday card on their special days throughout the year.

    Catherine Prisow
    Volunteer Support Officer
    Mornington Peninsula Shire

  29. Suzi Lockett says:

    We just had our annual Volunteer Christmas Brunch. One of the ways we honor our volunteers. No charge & all received Santa bags filled with goodies, plus door prizes.

    Suzi Lockett
    Volunteer Services Coordinator
    Kansas City Presbyterian Manor
    Kansas City

  30. We are always looking for new ideas for our Volunteer Christmas celebrations and other volunteer events throughout the year.
    Thank you to all of you for sharing your ideas and to you Judy for giving the opportunity to do so.

    One year our Local Council donated a variety of small local shrubs and trees in tiny pots to present to our volunteers in appreciation for their contribution to our community. We wrapped them in red and green celophane with a gold ribbon tied to a special message.

    Our volunteers have reported how the plants are florishing in their gardens and thought them to be a great lasting gift.

    Marilyn McMillan
    Community Visitors Scheme Coordinator
    Volunteering Central Coast.
    Niagara Park NSW

  31. Don;t forget about the President service awards. If you have a local volunteer center in our area you might contact them for information or it can be found on National council for service website

  32. Our volunteers probably enjoyed most an event at a nice restaurant and our $ were put into a good dessert. We went during a normally closed hour so had it to ourselves.

    One thing I did to emphasis the impact of our volunteer program was to make a chain with a loop for each volunteer out of different ribbons. Volunteers took it to a city council meeting and strung it up the aisle and around the mayor. A very visual impact of the number of volunteers in the library.

  33. Clare Henry says:

    I have given each volunteer an empty photo frame and than got a group photo at the event we hosted which we sent out for each volunteer to put in the frame. It was very inexpensive and was a good way to reinforce that they work as a team.

    I also go to other organisations and ask them for donations of prizes for volunteers and prizes for raffles so that we can raise additional funds for thank you gifts for our volunteers. I always also normally do certificates for volunteers.

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