Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

Joey Espinosa —  May 17, 2012

The end of the school year is an opportune time to remind your volunteers that you appreciate them. Receiving a heart-felt expression of gratitude is an encouragement for those who are serving.

A few years ago, a staff member of our church asked me for ideas for volunteer appreciation gifts. The gifts needed to be thoughtful, simple, and inexpensive, since we had well over 100 volunteers in children’s ministry.

After some deliberation, I came up with this idea: give each volunteer a lottery ticket or two. I reasoned that this gift would create a win-win-win situation:

  1. A “win” for the staff: A $2 lottery ticket would be an inexpensive gift.
  2. A “win” for the volunteer: The ticket would give the volunteer some excitement for the potential of winning. And if he did win, that would be an extra bonus!
  3. A “win” for the church: If the person did win, we would know exactly how much he should be tithing.

Fortunately, the staff member did not take my advice.

Are you looking to buy appreciation gifts for your volunteer team? Here are some ideas to choose from:

  • Gift cards (even for a few bucks each) for iTunes, Starbucks, etc.
  • Chocolates. We used to have a member who made chocolates in her business. For just $2 per person, we bought some fun and creative treats.
  • Lottery tickets.  Just kidding!  Or not.
  • Babysitting.  Team up with your youth ministry, to give out vouchers for 2-hours of babysitting (or, maybe have the first hour be free). Offer to transfer some of your budget to the youth ministry to go towards summer mission trips. Another win-win situation.
  • Snacks.  Nothing says “I love you” like some Sunday morning doughnuts. (Food is my love language.)

For more ideas, you can also check out last year’s post Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!

What other gift ideas do you have to show our volunteers how much we appreciate them?

Joey Espinosa

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After 10 years of working as a chemist, and 4 years as a full-time Pastor of Children & Families, Joey now works at-risk children (and their families) in the most impoverished area in his state. He is married to his best friend, and they have three children who are enjoying their family's adventure!