65 Volunteer appreciation ideas to show your volunteers you care this Volunteer Appreciation Month

With National Volunteer Appreciation Month in full swing, there’s never been a better time to show the volunteers just how much they are appreciated

With National Volunteer Appreciation Month in full swing in the United States, there’s never been a better time to show the volunteers in your organisation, and in your community, just how much they are appreciated. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of ways to show volunteers they are appreciated. From gifts to parties we have volunteer appreciation ideas to suit any organisation and budget.

What is National Volunteer Appreciation Month?

National Volunteer Appreciation Month is a special time of year when the entire month of April is dedicated to showing appreciation for volunteers. It’s a time when organisations, governments and communities celebrate volunteers who generously donate their time, skills and expertise to helping others.

The contributions of volunteers help to create better communities for us all. Whether feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless or protecting the environment and caring for the sick, volunteers make a difference every day. National Volunteer Appreciation Month is a time to thank these amazing individuals for what they do and recognise their selfless dedication and

Volunteer appreciation ideas

  1. Send a handwritten thank you note
    Whether it be from the organisation’s Volunteer Manager, the CEO, a Board Member or somebody in the community who has benefited from the volunteer’s efforts, a handwritten note can go a long way to making volunteers feel appreciated.

  2. Feature Volunteers on social media
    A volunteer who has been instrumental in organising community events, raising funds, and recruiting new volunteers for the organisation could be nominated for a “Volunteer of the Year” award offered by the local council.

  3. Present volunteers with a certification of appreciation
    Certificates of appreciation can be designed and printed in-house, be outsourced to a graphic designer, or created using pre-made templates so all you have to do is add your organisation's logo and the name of the volunteer.

  4. Provide snacks or treats during volunteer shifts
    Providing snacks during volunteer shifts could be as simple as having tea and coffee available, or providing something more substantial like fruit, cookies or chocolate bars.

  5. Offer discounts to local businesses
    Your organisation could partner with a local coffee shop to offer 10% off to volunteers who are wearing their volunteer t-shirt when they visit the shop. Or by partnering with a local car repair shop, volunteers could receive a free additional service such as a car wash and vacuum with every car service.

  6. Offer a reimbursement for expenses
    If your volunteers need to buy public transport tickets to get to their shift, you could reimburse them for that cost. This helps to make volunteering more accessible and affordable.

  7. Offer free training or workshops
    To support the professional and personal development of volunteers, your organisation could offer training on subjects like computer skills, communication or conflict resolution. If a volunteer has an interest in a specific area such as gardening, they could be offered a place at a workshop being run by a horticulturist.

  8. Present volunteers with a commemorative plaque or trophy
    A commemorative plaque or trophy could be presented to volunteers to recognise achievements such as years of service, number of other volunteers they have recruited, or for raising a significant amount of funds.

  9. Offer to write volunteers a letter of recommendation
    If a volunteer is looking to gain experience in a specific field or seeking employment offering to write them a letter of recommendation can be incredibly helpful.

  10. Present a volunteer of the month award
    A volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication and outstanding work during a particular month can be named “Volunteer of the Month”. Their achievements can be shared on social media, and on the organisation’s website.

  11. Highlight volunteers in the organisation’s newsletter
    The organisation’s newsletter could profile volunteers, highlighting their contributions, achievements, and impact on the organisation and the community.

  12. Offer volunteers a seat on a board or committee
    To recognise a volunteer who has shown exceptional leadership skills, or fundraising ability, the volunteer could be offered a seat on the organisation’s board or a sub-committee.

  13. Update facilities in the volunteer lounge or break room
    Adding comfortable chairs, tables, and bean bags to the volunteer lounge/break room or painting the walls with bright colours and inspirational quotes helps to create a relaxing and inspiring environment for volunteers. A coffee machine could also help to improve the experience of volunteers.

  14. Create a volunteer wall of fame
    A "Wall of Fame" of volunteers who have made significant contributions to the organisation could be displayed in the organisation’s office or on its website. The wall could feature photos and short bios of the volunteers, and a summary of their contributions and achievements.

  15. Create personalised volunteer business cards
    Business cards for volunteers could include the organisation's logo, the volunteer's name, and their role or area of expertise within the organisation.

  16. Send volunteers a personalised thank you video
    A staff member from the organisation could record a video message thanking the volunteer for their time and dedication to the organisation. The video could also include a message from people the volunteer’s efforts has helped.

  17. Present volunteers with a ribbon or medal
    An organisation can present each volunteer with a ribbon or medal to 
    honour their contributions and dedication. The ribbon or medal could feature the organisation's logo and serve as a tangible reminder of the volunteer's efforts and impact.

  18. Provide a volunteer mentorship program
    A volunteer mentorship program is an initiative that pairs experienced 
    volunteers with new volunteers. The experienced volunteer acts as a mentor, providing guidance and support to the new volunteer as they navigate their role and responsibilities within the organisation.

  19. Certificate of achievement
    A certificate of achievement for volunteers is a formal certificate printed on 
    high-quality paper, and includes the organisation's logo, the volunteer's name, and the achievement being recognised. For example, a "Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Volunteer Service".

  20. Feature volunteers on the organisation’s blog or website
    A dedicated section on the organisation’s website is a good way of showcasing the work and impact of volunteers. The section could include a profile of volunteers, their photo, their role, and a description of their achievements and contributions to the organisation.

  21. Present volunteers with a thank you card signed by the
    organisation’s beneficiaries
    A thank-you card signed by the organisation's beneficiaries can express the impact that volunteers have made in their lives. An organisation that works with children with disabilities could have the children draw pictures or write thank-you notes for the volunteers who help them.

  22. Circulate a survey to get feedback
    An organisation can send a survey to its volunteers to gather feedback about the volunteer experience. The survey could cover topics such as things that work well, suggestions for improvement, and whether volunteers feel their skills and expertise are being used appropriately.

  23. Send volunteers the organisation’s annual report
    An organisation can send its annual report to volunteers so that 
    volunteers are aware of the impact the organisation is having on the community. The report could also include information about the organisation’s financials and plans for the upcoming year.

  24. Social media photo filters
    Social media photo filters can be created for volunteers to use on their social media profiles. The filters could include images relevant to the organisation's cause, along with a message of gratitude.

  25. LinkedIn endorsement
    A representative of the organisation could provide a LinkedIn 
    endorsement to a volunteer who has been instrumental in developing and implementing a successful fundraising campaign. This endorsement would highlight the volunteer's skills in fundraising and could lead to additional career opportunities.

  26. Nominate volunteers for local council, state or federal awards

    A volunteer who has been instrumental in organising community events,
    raising funds, and recruiting new volunteers for the organisation could be
    nominated for a “Volunteer of the Year” award offered by the local council.

    Image of volunteer passing boxes

    Volunteer Appreciation Gift ideas


  27. Gift voucher for a massage or spa treatment
    As a way of recognising and rewarding effort, an organisation could offer a gift voucher for a massage or spa treatment to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their role.

  28. T-shirts
    An organisation can create branded t-shirts for its volunteers. The t-shirts 
    could be given to volunteers as a thank-you gift and a way to identify them during events or activities.

  29. Caps
    An organisation with volunteers working at outdoor events such as 
    marathons or concerts could gift caps to volunteers. The caps could be printed with the organisation's logo and will help volunteers stay cool and protected from the sun during the event.

  30. Personalised name badges
    Providing volunteers with personalised name badges can help others 
    identify them and help make them feel like a valuable part of the team.

  31. Free admission to an event
    Event organisers can offer free admission to volunteers who help with 
    tasks like setting up stages, distributing flyers, and managing crowds as a reward for volunteering.

  32. Free admission to an attraction
    Event organisers can offer free admission to volunteers who help with 
    tasks like setting up stages, distributing flyers, and managing crowds as a reward for volunteering.

  33. Voucher to use at a local restaurant
    Event organisers can offer free admission to volunteers who help with 
    tasks like setting up stages, distributing flyers, and managing crowds as a reward for volunteering.

  34. Photo album of volunteers
    The organisation could create a photo album of their volunteers in action 
    and present it to them as a thank you gift. The album could include photos of the volunteers engaging in various activities such as helping with events, fundraising, or working with beneficiaries.

  35. Present volunteers with a framed photo of them in action
    If you don’t have enough photos for a whole album, a framed photo of a volunteer in action makes a great gift.

  36. Branded coffee mug
    A coffee mug printed with the organisation’s logo is a practical gift that volunteers can use every day. If sustainability is one of your organisation’s values, be sure to gift mugs made from sustainable materials. 

  37. Personalised calendar or planner
    An organisation can create a custom calendar or planner featuring photos of past events or volunteers in action, along with important dates for upcoming events and meetings.

  38. Drink bottle with organisation’s logo
    To promote sustainability and reduce waste, an organisation can gift volunteers with a drink bottle featuring the organisation’s logo. Volunteers can then bring their own reusable bottles to their volunteer shift, reducing the need for disposable water bottles. 

  39. Personalised notebook or journal
    A personalised notebook or journal could have the organisation's logo or mission statement on the front cover and the volunteer's name or a message of appreciation on the back cover. This is a practical and thoughtful gift for volunteers to use during their volunteering activities or to keep as a memento of their time with the organisation.

  40. Personalised key ring
    A personalised key ring is a useful item for volunteers to carry their keys to volunteer activities. 

  41. Tote bag
    A tote bag made from high quality materials and featuring the organisation’s logo is practical gift that volunteers can use to carry their belongings. 

  42. Backpack
    A backpack is another practical gift that could double as a volunteer supply kit. For volunteers participating in a community clean up event, the backpack could be filled with essential items such as gloves, garbage bags and hand sanitiser. 

  43. Desk accessory
    A personalised desk accessory such as a pen holder, paperweight, or business card holder, featuring the organisation's logo or branding could be given to volunteers to say thank you for their efforts. 

  44. Personalised phone case
    A phone case personalised with the organisation’s logo is a practical gift that volunteers can use daily. 

  45. Personalised clock or watch
    A wall clock or pocket watch could be presented to a volunteer who dedicated a substantial amount of time to the organisation.

  46. Treat them to a coffee
    Volunteers could be invited to a special coffee morning at a local café where they can meet and socialise with other volunteers and staff members from the organisation. 


    Volunteer Appreciation event ideas

  47. Host a volunteer appreciation breakfast
    A breakfast could be held at a local restaurant or at the organisation's headquarters and should include a variety of breakfast foods and drinks. During the breakfast, volunteers could be acknowledged and thanked for their contributions, and the organisation's leadership team could share updates on the organisation's activities and future plans.

  48. Host a volunteer appreciation picnic
    A picnic could be set up in a nearby park with the organisation providing food and drinks for the volunteers to enjoy. The picnic could also include fun activities and games to make the event more enjoyable. 

  49. Provide a volunteer VIP area at an event
    A music festival could set up a volunteer VIP area with comfortable seating, free snacks and drinks, and a prime viewing area of the festival's main stage. 

  50. Host a volunteer appreciation concert
    Bring in local musicians or bands to put on a concert for your volunteers. The concert can be held indoors or outdoors depending on the weather and number of attendees.

  51. Host a volunteer appreciation BBQ
    An appreciation BBQ can be held at a local park or community centre and include food, music, games and prizes. 

  52. Organise a scavenger hunt
    A scavenger hunt is a fun way to show appreciation for volunteers. Start by creating a list of clues or challenges that the volunteers need to complete and set them off on a hunt around the local area. The scavenger hunt could include stops at local businesses or landmarks and incorporate fun challenges.

  53. Host a movie night
    A fun and entertaining movie can be selected and shown at a local cinema or in a designated function room with bean bags. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  54. Trivia night
    This could be either a general knowledge quiz, or a quiz night where volunteers can test their knowledge about the organisation's mission, history, or accomplishments. Prizes could be awarded to the winning team or individuals. 

  55. Team building activities
    Team building activities like a group outing to a local ropes course, an escape room challenge, a scavenger hunt, or a friendly competition like a relay race or obstacle course are great ways for volunteers to build camaraderie with each other.

  56. Yoga or meditation session
    The session could be led by a qualified instructor and held in a tranquil environment, such as a park or a yoga studio.

  57. Sports match
    A friendly sports game or tournament can be organised for volunteers to participate in and compete with each other. Some sports to consider are basketball, football and golf.

  58. Family festival
    A festival that volunteers and their families can attend for a free day of fun. You could have a bouncy castle, face painting, arts and crafts and games.

  59. Barefoot bowls
    Barefoot bowls is a fun and casual lawn bowling game that can be played with other volunteers at a local lawn bowls club.

    Volunteer Appreciation Party ideas

  60. Games night
    Host a games night where volunteers can come and play board games, card games, or video games. Provide snacks and drinks and create a relaxed and fun atmosphere where volunteers can unwind and socialise with each other.

  61. Karaoke party
    A fun-filled karaoke event can take place either in a private room at a karaoke bar or in a designated function room. Participants have the option to showcase their preferred tunes individually or team up with others to engage in singing battles.

  62. Photo booth
    You can set up a photo booth at a volunteer appreciation party and provide fun props like hats, glasses, and moustaches for volunteers to pose with. You could customise the backdrop with the organisation's logo or a fun theme. Volunteers can take pictures alone or in groups, and you can provide printouts or digital copies of the photos as a memento of the event.

  63. Talent show
    Organise a volunteer talent show where the volunteers showcase skills such as singing, dancing, poetry and stand-up comedy. Prizes can be awarded for the best performances. 

  64. Pizza party
    A pizza party could be held at a local pizzeria where volunteers can enjoy a variety of pizza options and socialise with one another in a relaxed, fun setting.

  65. Food truck party
    A food truck party involves hiring one or more trucks to serve a wide variety of dishes and cuisines to volunteers.

National Volunteer Appreciation Month serves as a helpful reminder of the importance of recognising and celebrating volunteers. Whether it's writing them a heartfelt note, presenting them with a small gift, or a hosting party in their honour, there are countless ways to show volunteers how much they are appreciated. With so many ways of showing appreciation for volunteers, we don’t need to be limited to National Volunteer Appreciation Month. Why not make showing appreciation for volunteers a year-round initiative to ensure your volunteers are regularly reminded about just how important they are.

About Rosterfy

Rosterfy exists to connect communities to events and causes they are passionate about through volunteer and paid workforce management technology. Our proven end to end technology allows charities, events and nonprofit organisations to recruit, register, screen, train, manage and report with ease, replacing manual processes with automations to better engage and retain your volunteers and paid staff.

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