The selfless dedication and commitment that volunteers bring to campaigns is the backbone without which most organizations and teams would fail. Showing your appreciation and gratitude for volunteers with a small token is a great way to honor their compassion and hard work.
But is it really that important to give a thank you gift to volunteers?
No really, but volunteers play an indispensable role in a variety of fields ranging from healthcare to social causes, filling gaps that would otherwise hamper the volunteering efforts. They extend support without any expectation of compensation. Very often at the expense of family and work commitments.
Recognizing their work will help keep them stay motivated and feeling fulfilled.
If you are a volunteer group organizer, a community leader or just someone leading volunteer efforts who is wondering what kind of small thank you gifts you should buy for the volunteers that show how much you appreciate them then here are some out of the box ideas that they will actually use and love.
Thoughtful Appreciation Gifts that Volunteers Will Be Thrilled to Get
Before you reach out for another keychain or a stress squeeze ball as a thank you souvenir gift, check out these 16 practical small gifts that everyone in the team will be pleasantly surprised to get.
These small appreciation gifts are not just some cheap “stuff” that will be tossed into trash without thought. These small tokens are thoughtful, meaningful, and budget friendly (most under $2.50/ piece). Some of these also have the option of bulk purchase.
The gift guide includes plenty of options that are great for men and women.
1 Star Token Keepsake
They are all stars of the team, and this small star token is a reminder of that.
A symbolic gift that they will hold dear to their heart. They can display it in any corner of the house, or even use it as a simple paper weight. Regardless, how they chose to enjoy it their heart will be filled with pride whenever they glance at it.
The adorable star is made of porcelain, which elevates the look and feel of this budget friendly gift.
Also because it is not made out of cheap material, it will maintain it’s look for ages to come.
2 Soy Wax Small Candle Tin
These small tins come labeled with a beautiful thank you text, so you don’t have to print additional labels. Instead of regular plain wax this tin contains soy wax, which is a big plus since it does not release toxins into the air.
At this low price point, these candle tins are definitely a steal.
These also come in a variety of colors so they can be given to a man or woman. Yes, men (and their families) enjoy good smelling candles too.
3 Thank You Prayer Bookmarks
Bookmarks are not just for voracious readers that love to dive into heavy books, they can be enjoyed by anyone who is studying, working, enjoys recipe books, etc.
I chose these particular bookmarks because of the thank you prayer printed on them which could not be more apt.
Each sentence in the prayer fills the hearts with joy. If you struggle to come up with all the right words to express your thanks, then these bookmarks will get the job done.
4 Token of Appreciation with Card
A beautiful idea that will be meaningful for any volunteer, anywhere.
People who extend support to others in need and make a big difference to the lives of people they touch feel highly rewarded when their work is recognized by those around them.
The coin reads “Token of Appreciation” in the front, and “Pass it Along” at the back. To me it really amplifies the spirit of volunteering.
They can keep the token or pass it along when they meet someone else, they are thankful for.
5 Practical Small Gift
These Notepads are simple, practical and convey the message.
These mini spiral notepads also come with a matching pen. They are priced very well for a stationary set! Great for big groups, be it a corporate organized volunteering event or a private event.
The set will make a great holiday gift for the group, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., and as a souvenir.
6 You Rock Gift
These types of rocks have many names- gratitude stones, worry stones, faith stones, etc. They come in all shapes and sizes and made out of different materials.
These engraved inspirational river stones are a fabulous encouragement and acknowledgement gift. They would love to display it on their work desk, study desk etc.
When you just can’t keep repeating it all the time, because your team members are that good. It will keep reminding them of how valued they are and their work does not go unrecognized.
It is a great way to keep the morale of the team up even when things seem tough.
Affordable Volunteer Gifts for Women
All of the above gift ideas are great for women as well but I found some that are exceptionally great for all the females in the group., irrespective of their age.
7 Thank You Scrunchies
Not only scrunchies have made a great fashion comeback but even if you discount the fashion importance, they are still loved and enjoyed by all the ladies.
These scrunchies are a bulk order and individually packed so you really don’t have to put any additional effort into packaging. You can also choose the material of the scrunchies as well.
8 Small but Adorable Token
If the scrunchy idea above is still out of budget or you have a really huge team of women volunteers, then here is another small gift that everyone will love.
These hair tie packets are small and extremely affordable, but they will not go unappreciated. After all, it’s not the cost of the gift but the sentimental meaning behind it. Just the thought of you expressing your thanks with a token will make their hearts full.
I have another option in case you would like to add your organization’s name to the cards. This seller offers personalization.
Small thank you employee gifts don’t have to be boring keychains, etc., that will just end up straight in garbage. Here are some out of the box creative thank you gifts for employees and staff that will make them feel valued and acknowledged.
9 Team Bracelets
These dainty bracelets come ready as a gift. More special than the bracelets is the writing on these cards.
Without a well-functioning motivated team any volunteering effort is a chore. For people who show up every time and perform to their best abilities this is a small way to honor their work.
These strings come in so many colors. They are all beautiful.
10 Small Cosmetic Pouches
Everything from the colors to the writing on these pouches is eye catching and lovely.
The best part about such cosmetic pouches is that they can be used in everyday life in so many ways, in addition to just being used to store small cosmetics.
They will not go to waste. They can take it when traveling, storing trinkets at home, organizing small items in their office purse or work bag, etc.
This is a bulk purchase so that brings down the cost a lot compared to buying single units.
Thank You Gifts for Male Volunteers
Finding sensible gifts for men always seems a bit challenging if you are not looking for beer themed gifts, etc. If you were wondering what to give to male volunteers in your team then here are some ideas that will make a great volunteering thank you gift for all the men in the team.
Although, I do think they are great for women too, but I separated it into sections so it is easier to get to the section in case you were looking for these in particular.
11 Motivational Quote Bamboo Pens
Another affordable and practical find that will not lie forgotten in a drawer. Pens are one of the essential tools that we use in our everyday life. The pens are made out of bamboo. They don’t give off a cheap look.
Each set comes with 10 different styles and 5 motivational quotes appreciating teamwork.
These will make a great souvenir gift as you are wrapping a volunteering campaign.
The pens will also fit a variety of volunteers, ranging from people working with the elderly, kids, food pantries, environmental, animals, etc. The quotes acknowledge their efforts and the impact they create.
12 Small Wooden Bottle Openers
These wooden bottle openers are great for all the men in the volunteer groups. The price might seem a bit steep, but such shops are always running sales, so it is worth checking them out.
They seem like wedding favors but these are handmade items that have the option for customization so you can swap out the text for a simple thank you or even send your own design, organization logo, etc.
So small and slim, they can even fit in a regular wallet!
A one-of-a-kind souvenir gift that will make them chuckle a little. A bit unexpected, but definitely useful.
It is always a good time to send a small token of your appreciation to nurses and doctors if you/ family member were recently hospitalized or touched by kindness of a specialist. Here are some not your average appreciation gifts for doctor and nurses because only the best will do.
13 Edible Gift
No one ever said no to a tasty treat, especially a jelly bean.
These yummy treats come individually packed which leave little work on your end and they are also easier to hand out.
A great reminder of the fun you had working with them and ending the event on a sweet note. Edible gifts come in a lot of variety so if you are not a fan of jellybeans then you can find a huge assortment of other candies online that will make an equally yummy gift.
Unique Appreciation Gifts for Volunteers
All of the above gifts are very affordable but here are some that are just right for the moment when you want to give a special thanks to some chosen ones who always go above and beyond.
14 A Sweet Thank You Treat
These handmade cookies are adorable. The recipient will enjoy the sweet treat. A memorable and sweet way to convey how much their participation means to you/ the team.
15 Handmade Crystal Bracelet
A unique offering. The bracelet is made with real crystal and wooden beads. The wooden beads can be adorned with essential oil of recipient’s choice. This bracelet will carry the rich aroma of the essential oil throughout the day.
Practicing mindfulness and gratitude in our day to day life should go deeper than appreciating others in our life. Start by expressing gratitude and building appreciation for all that you bring to the life. Here are 19 Surprising Gifts That Promote Mindfulness and Gratitude.
16 Environmentally Friendly Gift
The paper flower bouquet looks just as good as a real flower bouquet. The biggest benefit buying a card like this is that it can be enjoyed for so much longer, if properly cared for, than real flowers. Also good for someone with allergies.
It is not cheap. But if you were going to spend money anyways on buying a beautiful flower bouquet then you should definitely check this out.
The customer reviews are great and plenty of options to choose from.
I hope you found something all these ideas helpful. There are so many ways to thank people for their efforts but very often sending them home with a small gesture of your appreciation is a feeling of recognition that will keep their hearts filled with pride longer than a passing moment.