From Ambassadors to board members, committee heads to social media contributors, the end of the year is a time of gift-giving for many chambers. If you’re considering gifts for your top volunteers, we have plenty of ideas as well as some suggestions on when to give and things to ponder before stressing yourself out finding the perfect gift.
Should the Chamber Give Gifts to Its Volunteers?
Whether or not you should give Christmas gifts to your top volunteers depends on your organization’s policies, budget, and the culture and expectations within your volunteer community. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind if you decide to give is “all or nothing” unless you’re awarding one superstar “volunteer of the year.” If you’re not bestowing an award, don’t single out a handful of chamber ambassadors, for example. For Ambassadors, outside of a special commendation, they either all should receive a gift or none of them should. The same is true of your board unless you are singling out those whose terms have come to a conclusion. You want gifts to be a joyous thing, not a time to feel slighted.
Here are some additional considerations to help you decide about gifts for chamber volunteers:
Should You Give Holiday Gifts to Chamber Volunteers
That depends on…
1. Organizational Policy: Check if your chamber has established policies, guidelines, or a precedent regarding gift-giving to volunteers. Some organizations have specific rules about gift-giving to ensure transparency and fairness.
2. Budget: Consider your available budget. If your budget allows for small, meaningful gifts without compromising the chamber’s finances, it can be a nice way to show appreciation.
3. Volunteer Expectations: Gauge the expectations of your volunteers. Some volunteers may not expect gifts, while others may know you did it last year.
4. Personalized Gifts: If you do decide to give gifts, try to make them thoughtful and personalized. Generic, one-size-fits-all gifts may not be as meaningful as something tailored to each volunteer’s interests or contributions. (We have a huge list of ideas below.)
5. Alternative Appreciation Methods: Gifts are just one way to express gratitude. You can also consider other appreciation methods such as hosting a volunteer appreciation event, sending handwritten thank-you notes, or providing certificates or awards.
6. Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of the cultural and religious backgrounds of your volunteers. Not everyone may celebrate Christmas, so consider inclusive holiday greetings or alternative gift options.
7. Tax Implications and Gift Laws: In some regions, providing gifts or incentives to volunteers may have tax implications for both the volunteers and the organization. Consult with a financial or legal pro to ensure compliance with tax regulations. Also, if your volunteer works in the public sector, there may be laws prohibiting them from taking gifts.
If done thoughtfully and within the means of the chamber, giving a volunteer gift can be a nice way to express gratitude, but it’s not always necessary. What’s most important is that your volunteers feel valued and appreciated for their contributions year-round. Still, if you’d like to give them a gift here are some ideas.
Gift Ideas for Chamber Volunteers Under $15
While most of these gift ideas can work for people from all walks of life, personalizing them to the volunteer can make them extra special. If you have an inside joke or nickname for the volunteer, your gift could be something they smile at whenever they see it.
1. Customized Mug: Personalize a coffee mug with their name, the chamber logo, or a message of appreciation.
2. Desk Accessories: Consider items like personalized desk nameplates, pen holders, or decorative desk organizers.
3. Scented Candles: Scented candles in festive holiday scents are a popular and budget-friendly gift choice. Work with a local artisan to create something that will set your gift apart such as a “Smells like the Chamber” scent.
4. Plant or Succulent: A small potted plant or succulent is a thoughtful and low-maintenance gift that can brighten up their workspace. You can attach a special chamber message like, “Thanks for helping us grow.”
5. Custom Keychains: Create keychains with the chamber logo or a special message, or consider keychains that incorporate their interests or hobbies. This is an inexpensive gift that will get put to use.
6. Notebooks or Journals: Choose elegant or customized notebooks or journals that they can use for note-taking or personal reflections. Add a note like, “Words cannot express how much we value you.”
7. Holiday Ornaments: Select a beautiful holiday ornament of your town.
8. Candy or Treat Bags: Create small goody bags with a selection of holiday candies or treats. Pinterest is full of cute, creative ideas.
9. Socks: Fun and festive holiday-themed socks are a practical yet enjoyable gift.
10. Customized Nametags: If your volunteers often attend events or meetings, consider custom name tags that set them apart. You can give them cute titles like Chief Executive Organizer or Volunteer Extraordinaire.
11. Handwritten Thank You Note: Sometimes a heartfelt, handwritten thank-you note expressing your gratitude can be the most meaningful gift of all.
12. Digital Magazine Subscription: Gift them a digital magazine subscription related to their interests or industry.
13. DIY Crafts: Consider making homemade holiday crafts, such as personalized ornaments or hand-painted wooden signs or write a humorous poem about them and have it framed.
When choosing a gift, consider the individual preferences and interests of your chamber ambassadors and top volunteers. Personalization and a sincere thank-you message can go a long way in making a low-budget gift special.
If you have a little more money in the budget or you are giving them a prestigious volunteer award, consider…
Gift Ideas for Chamber Volunteers From $25-50
1. Customized Tote Bag: Personalized tote bags with their names or the organization’s logo can be both practical and meaningful. Add a few delicious treats or fill it with things you know they love.
2. Cozy Blanket: A soft and warm throw blanket is a thoughtful and comforting gift. Add a fun note like “You always have everything covered.”
3. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: A portable speaker for enjoying music or podcasts can be a great gift for tech-savvy volunteers. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
4. Gourmet Food Basket: Put together a basket with high-quality snacks, chocolates, and beverages. Bonus if the snacks are local.
5. Professional Development/Leadership Book: Choose a book that aligns with their interests or profession that can help them grow.
6. Board Game or Puzzle: Encourage some fun and relaxation with a board game or jigsaw puzzle.
7. Wellness Products: Wellnes and stress relief products make great seasonal gifts.
8. Wine or Beer Gift Set: A bottle of wine or craft beer with accompanying glasses or accessories is a great gift just make sure you know that they enjoy adult beverages first.
9. Subscription Box: Give the gift of a subscription box related to their interests, such as a book club, gourmet food, or beauty products. It’s a gift that keeps giving.
10. Tech Accessories: Consider items like phone or tablet stands, charging pads, or wireless earbuds. These are great for your volunteers on the move
11. Experience Voucher: Provide a voucher for an experience, such as a cooking class, spa day, or concert tickets.
12. Reusable Water Bottle: A high-quality reusable water bottle with a stylish design. Perfect when they’re out and about.
Local Gift Ideas for Chamber Volunteers
Supporting local businesses and artisans is a great way to find unique and meaningful gifts for volunteers for under $20. Consider:
1. Local Artisan Food: things like locally-made jams, honey, sauces, or gourmet snacks. You can create a small gift basket or package these items nicely.
2. Local Gift Cards: Gift cards to popular stores or restaurants are versatile and allow volunteers to choose something they like.
3. Local Artisan Products: Support local artisans with handmade or locally-sourced items like soaps, candles, or crafts.
4. Local Event Tickets: Give them tickets to a local event, concert, theater performance, or sports game.
5. Local Coffee, Tea, or Adult Beverages: Local roasters, tea shops, vineyard, breweries or distilleries may offer unique blends and flavors. Pair a bag of coffee or a selection of tea with a stylish mug.
6. Customized Map: Create custom maps that highlight local landmarks, attractions, or even the volunteer’s favorite spots.
7. Local Art Prints: Support local artists by gifting prints of their artwork or photography.
8. Farmers Market Basket: Fill a basket with fresh produce, artisanal bread, or other goodies from your local farmers market.
9. Handmade Jewelry: Look for local jewelers or crafters who create unique and affordable jewelry pieces.
10. Handmade Pottery: Local potters create beautiful and functional pottery, like mugs or plant pots.
11. Local Scented Products: Find a local business that creates scented products like bath salts, face masks or scrubs, essential oils, or room sprays.
12. Local Cookbooks: Find cookbooks that feature recipes and dishes specific to your region.
13. Local Honey Gift Set: Combine local honey with honey-related products like beeswax candles, beauty products, or honey-infused snacks.
14. Crafted Wood Items: Local woodworkers may produce items like cutting boards, pens, coasters, or utensils.
15. Photo Collage: Collect photos of volunteers at community events, projects, or gatherings. Create a handmade photo collage or album, adding captions or personal messages to each picture.
16. Local History Book: Craft a small book or booklet detailing the history and unique stories of your community. Include photographs and handwritten anecdotes from residents. Check your local stores. There may already be one out there. Add a note, “Thanks for helping us make history.”
17. Personalized Garden Stones: Decorate stones with volunteers’ names, significant dates, or community messages. These can be placed in a community garden or their own gardens.
18. Community Mural or Art Piece: Collaborate with local artists to create a community-related mural or art piece. Display it in a public place in honor of your volunteers.
19. Community Memory Jar: Fill a jar with notes of appreciation and memories shared by residents and volunteers. Decorate the jar with community symbols.
20. Community T-Shirts: Design print community-themed T-shirts for your volunteers to wear with pride.
These chamber volunteer gift ideas celebrate the strong connection between your volunteers and the chamber. Not only will they feel valued but the item may also become a source of pride that they share with others.