25 Best Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

December 11, 2023

Discover the best volunteer gift ideas for those who dedicate their time and services.

Volunteers are known for generously dedicating their time and energy to make a positive impact in their community and abroad. If you’re looking for ways to show your appreciation, you can’t go wrong with unique custom gifts. By sharing your gratitude with those that help make your company and culture what it is today, you can help foster that giving spirit through meaningful and purposeful tokens of appreciation.

How to choose the right gifts for volunteers  

When it comes time to thank your volunteers for their time and dedication there are a few factors you’ll want to consider to ensure your volunteer thank you gifts are well received. Afterall, your volunteers are most likely led by a desire to support your cause and company, and you will want your gift to respect that. 

1. Know Your Budget

Not only will a set budget help you stay on track financially, it will also help you zone in on your volunteer appreciation ideas. And, with so many customizable options to you have at your disposal, being able to narrow down your options so you can pick just the right gift will save you time and energy! 

2. Choose quality over quantity

While it’s natural to want to spoil your volunteers with a lot of items, it’s important to factor in your budget. Even non-profits who are on a strict budget can find quality items - or a single item to show their appreciation. So while more may feel merrier, one quality item is better than 10 cheap items that end up in the trash. 

3. Let Gemnote do the heavy lifting 

Not sure where to start? Can’t seem to think of how to make your branding come to life? Or maybe you need a little inspiration to get you started? With Gemnote, you can let them handle as many details as you wish. From getting a curated collection of items—all in your price point— to design and customization ideas to kitting, packaging, storing and shipping, and just about everything in between, trust the experts to handle all the details. 

25 Volunteer Gifts to Show Your Ultimate Appreciation 

Ready to show your favorite volunteers the love? Check out our selection of gifts that are sure to put a smile on their face. Plus, with plenty of options for customization and colors to incorporate your branding, this really is just the beginning for promoting your company or non-profit while giving  unique volunteer appreciation gifts. 

Under $10 Volunteer Gifts 

Check out our favorite picks for volunteer gift ideas under $10! In case you’re not convinced, here’s proof that you can find memorable gifts for volunteers under $10. 

1. Custom Coasters 

Fun, practical, on brand? Custom coasters come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and colors and check all the boxes when it comes to easy and inexpensive volunteer appreciation gift ideas that can be custom made to match your  branding. 


Photo courtesy of Reb Peters Press (left) and Moon Tree (right); Shown: Custom Coasters

2. Hotel Keychain 

While keychains can go from cheap to fancy, they are definitely an-easy-to-customize gift that’s just as fun as they are functional. Not to mention, hotel keychains are all the rage. 

Photo courtesy of Lee Fiori (left) and Urban Outfitters (right); Shown: Custom Hotel Keychains

3. Custom Embroidered Patches

While you may not be able to give your volunteers the world— or even that extra special ball cap or hoodie, you can give them a way to show off your company or cause. Branded patches are perfect for adding on backpacks, hats, apparel and more. 

Photo courtesy of GMTRY (left) Ramble & Co (right); Shown: Embroidered Patches

4. Graphic Tee 

It’s very likely your volunteers dedicate their time to your company because they believe in what you do and want to expand awareness or good will. So, with that said, make sure your  volunteer appreciation ideas include branded apparel. 


Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters; Shown: Urban Outfitters Katin Distant Tee

5. Custom Sunglasses

When it comes to affordable swag, we’re not one to throw shade. After all, who wouldn’t want aviator sunglasses for under $10? Plus, with items like these, you can enjoy even more savings with volunteer appreciation gifts bulk pricing.   

Photo courtesy of Hit Promo; Shown: Custom Aviator Sunglasses

6. Custom Tote 

For volunteer swag that boasts practicality but still offers the perfect palette for branding, a reusable and sustainable tote is a brilliant option that won’t blow your budget. 

Photo courtesy of Only NY; Shown: Canvas Tote

7. Custom Enamel Keychain

There’s something about a great keychain that makes us smile. And for showing off your branding, what’s better than something they can add to zippers on their backpack, accessory bags, or use as a good old fashion holder for their keys. 

Photo courtesy of A24 Films; Shown: Enamel Keychain

8. Modern Mug With Logo

When it comes to that morning pick me up, let your favorite volunteers think of you when they reach for that cup of Joe. Talk to your Gemnote rep about all of the different options you have for branding a mug. 

Shown: ETS Express Ceramic Mug

9. Permanent Marker 

What’s so great about a marker? For those looking for volunteer gifts under $5, branding a marker is a permanent way to pass on your appreciation!

Photo courtesy of Aimé Leon Dore (left)  and Only NY (right); Shown: Sharpie Markers


10. Branded Laptop Stickers

When it comes to volunteer appreciation gift ideas, don’t underestimate the power of a great branded sticker! They’re perfect for infusing color and personality to laptops, water tumblers, and more!

Photo courtesy of A24 Films and Only NY

Under $20 

11. Custom Long Sleeve Tee 

When the average tee just won’t do, think details! From the long sleeve styling to the custom tag, there’s so many ways to make your branding sing! 


Photo courtesy of Little Wilder Kids; Shown: Stay Wild Long Sleeve

12. Custom Water Bottle 

While it may seem hard to believe, you can get a great water bottle under $20. Talk to your Gemnote rep about branding and color options for insulated tumblers and other drinkware. 

Shown: Vigor Water Bottle Sports Stainless Steel Vacuum Cup Insulated

13. Custom Cooler Bag 

Whether your volunteer team is working outside or in an office, help them keep their lunch or beverages fresh with a go-anywhere soft cooler like this one from Renew that features recycled fabric and webbing made from plastic bottles.

Shown: Renew Cooler Bag

14. Branded Duffle Bag 

If duffle bags top your list of volunteer thank you gifts, you’re in luck! With detachable straps and fabrication made of  50% recycled material, it’s perfect for the gym, running errands, commutes, and weekend getaways. 

Shown: Liberty Duffel Bag

15. Custom Branded Logo Socks

The heart and “sole” of any non-profit is its mission and the people who help bring it to life! If you’re looking for gifts for volunteers that are budget friendly and offer plenty of ways to customize, look no farther than a great pair of socks! 

Photo courtesy of Escuyer; Shown: Stripe Crew Socks 

16. Custom Towel 

Volunteering your time and energy takes sweat and determination. So for fun volunteer thank you gifts, why not show them your appreciation with a great towel they can use at home or on the go. 

Photo courtesy of Luzia; Shown: Striped Workout Towel

17. Custom Bandana

Accessories offer an affordable option when it comes to showing off your branding with unique volunteer appreciation gifts. 

Photo Courtesy of Designs Crush Blog (left) and Whiskers World (right); Shown:  Custom Bandanas 

18. Custom Nalgene Water Bottles

Help your recipient stay hydrated with custom Nalgene wide mouth water bottles that are perfect for adding ice!

Photos courtesy of Broccoli (left) and Preemptive Love (right); Shown:  Nalgene Water Bottles 

19. Enamel Pins

Another great branded accessory idea when it comes to fun volunteer swag are enamel pins!

Photo courtesy of World Market; Shown: Enamel Pin Set

20. Customized Backpack

One of the best gifts for volunteers are backpacks! Not only do they offer hands-free convenience, but they’re also a sustainable option for keeping your gear protected and all in one place. Plus, with options for pockets, personalization, laptop sleeves and more,  they also make ideal holiday gifts for employees

Shown: Port Authority Ripstop Backpack

Over $20 

Need a gift that really showcases your appreciation while flexing your brand? Check out these favorites priced from just over $20 to luxe favorites! 

21. Logo Cap

Ready to top off your volunteer appreciation gift ideas? Don’t forget the all around favorite hat! It’s the brand-loving essential that offers endless colors and fun ways for you and your recipient to show off your logo.

Shown: Vuori Dad Cap

22. Branded Tee Shirt 

Tee shirts are a favorite among corporate gifts for so many reasons—including all the different ways you can add customization.  Let your Gemnote rep know your budget so they can help you with all of the ways you can give a gift your recipient will love wearing again and again. 

Photo courtesy of Mad Happy; Shown: Campus Tee

23. Colorful Fanny Pack

Screen print? Patch? Tag? Embroidery? However you want to add your logo is up to you! As for your recipient, they’ll love the fashion-forward convenience of this handy essential!

Shown: Talking Out of Turn (left) and Hana (right); Shown: Assorted Fanny Packs 

24. Crewneck Sweatshirt 

Thinking about gifting a sweatshirt this year to your volunteers? You may want to add extras, since sweatshirts and hoodies make some of the best gifts for employees and customers too! 

Photo courtesy of Only NY; Shown: Custom Sweatshirt

25. Custom Lanyard Sling 

When it comes to unique volunteer appreciation gifts, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!  Essential basics like lanyards- or even better, a lanyard that carries their cell phone are those everyday basics they’ll really appreciate.  

Shown; Custom Lanyad

Bonus:  More Luxe Custom Gifts 

Sometimes your volunteer thank you gifts deserve a touch of luxe of name brand power. If that’s the case, talk to your Gemnote rep. With top notch brands like Patagonia, Nike, The North Face and more, they can help you find your perfect gift. 

Shown: Patagonia Custom Fleece Vest

Didn’t see your perfect gift? There’s a lot more where that came from! Reach out to a Gemnote rep today or browse our Look Book for more inspiration. From that perfect snack bag to must-have office supplies, seasonal accessories, tech gifts, and more, your Gemnote rep can help you get that perfectly curated collection that does double duty as gifts for volunteer appreciation and marketing your brand. 

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