Simple Thank You Gifts

Volunteers are often a vital part of your conference or event team. From registration to greeting guests, from providing directions to selling merchandise, volunteers can fill important voids for various tasks.

While there are larger incentives you can provide for volunteers (discounted program and housing fees, free t-shirts and other merchandise, etc.), there are ways you can encourage your team throughout the event, as well.

The last time I volunteered at a conference, each day I was given a little “something” thanking me for my service. These were very small, low cost items (typically a food item of some sort) with a clever note attached, left for me at the location I was working.

While these “thank you” gifts might take some time to assemble, many of them can be done well ahead of the conference. The time and effort put forth to create these little extras can help encourage your volunteers as they work throughout the conference. As you prepare these, you can purchase individually wrapped candy/snacks or put unwrapped items in a plastic bag sealed with the note.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Thanks for being an EXTRAordinary volunteer! (Extra gum)
  • You are a LIFESAVER! Thank you! (Lifesaver candy)
  • We MINT to tell you how much we appreciate you! (Any type of mints)
  • It’s been such a TREAT to have you as a volunteer! (Works with any type of snack)
  • Without your help we would have fallen to PIECES! Thank you! (Reese’s Pieces candy)
  • We would be in KNOTS without you! (Bag of pretzels)
  • It’s “o-FISH-al”! You are a great volunteer! (Bag of Goldfish crackers or Swedish Fish candy)
  • Volunteers like you are worth 100 GRAND! (100 Grand candy bars)
  • Just POPPING in to say thanks for all your hard work! (Bag of popcorn)
  • It’s been MOUNDS of fun serving with you! (Mounds candy bars)

Simple yet thoughtful gifts can go a long way in showing your appreciation. Let your creativity shine as you prepare these small thank you items for your event volunteers.

Organizing a Fundraising Event

Unless you are hosting a group of multimillionaires, your fundraising event is not going to make much money.

What? You’ve poured hundreds of man hours into planning, and spent money on entertainment and, or a meal. So, why plan a fundraising event? To bring attention to a cause or organization and to establish and strengthen relationships with donors who will give over time.

To do this difficult work of establishing and strengthening relationships be sure to include the following items in your fundraising event:

  1. A call to action. Don’t let your attendees wonder what you want them to do. Sign up to volunteer one weekend in the next two months? Give money towards a specific goal?  Make this clear!
  2. Multiple ways to get involved. People’s health, schedule, financial and family circumstances limit and gift them in different ways. Do you have multiple opportunities for people to get involved with the cause or organization? A mother with children may not be able to clear an entire Saturday to help, but she might be happy to come by your office and pick up envelopes to stuff for a big mailing. Vary the options for your volunteers.
  3. Nurture relationships with follow-up. As the fundraising event coordinator it may not be your job to follow-up with the attendees. But, even if it is not, be sure you get enough information from everyone that follow-up is possible. Fundraising is all about relationships. Call the people who give, sign-up, and volunteer. Thank them, take them out to lunch, ask why they are passionate about the cause and how they envision helping in the next 12 months.

Organizing a fundraising event comes with its own strategies and challenges.  I hope these tips will help make your next money-raising event a success!