National Volunteer Week (April 23-29) will be here before we know it, so now is a great time to start planning volunteer appreciation ideas. Whether your organization is throwing a fancy recognition event, or just taking the time to say a sincere “thank you,” these low cost nonprofit volunteer gift ideas are worth considering.

Cute Cards and Treats

Everybody appreciates a little thank you card, almost as much as they enjoy a special treat! These cute nonprofit volunteer gifts are fun and easy to make; a “punny” way to show appreciation!

  1. It’s Been Such a “Treat” to Have You as a Volunteer! Attach to any kind of candy or baked good
  2. We “Donut” What We Would Have Done Without You!: Surprise your volunteers with this note and a box of doughnuts
  3. Thanks for Your “Commit-mint!”: Attach to a box of Jr. Mints, peppermint patties, or any kind of mint candy
  4. Thanks a Latte!”: Attach to a Starbuck’s Frappucino or other popular coffee item.
  5. We Need S’more Volunteers Like You
  6. Thanks for Popping in to Help!”: Attach to a bag of popcorn.
  7. You are a “Lifesaver!: Attach to a roll of Lifesavers candy.

DIY Gifts

Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes, and they don’t need to be extravagant to make an impact. These DIY gift ideas are fun to make, their homemade feel gives them that “special touch.” Many of these gift can be made directly the the nonprofit’s staff, or they could be made by the community the nonprofit serves.

  1. Thank You Tree. Like a volunteer spotlight board, the handmade “tree” can include small notes of appreciation from the community.
  2. Handmade birthday gift
  3. Potted plant with bow and card
  4. Movie night gift bag. Include microwaveable popcorn, movie candy, and a gift card for a Redbox movie of their choice.


Small monogrammed gifts are very inexpensive, especially for a smaller volunteer force, and they have a neat, branded look. As a bonus, these volunteer appreciation gifts help spread awareness of your nonprofit. Popular items include:

  1. Pens
  2. Mugs
  3. Nalgenes or other water bottles
  4. Thermoses
  5. Lanyards
  6. T-shirts

Other Fun Ideas

  1. Social media shout-outs. Highlight a volunteer every day or every week on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show your appreciation.
  2. Newsletter spotlight. 
  3. Dedicated parking spot

Volunteers are the heart and soul of a nonprofit. Give them tokens of appreciation throughout the year to encourage them and recognize their incredible work.