Nonprofits can show appreciation for their volunteers

April 24, 2013

Nonprofits can show appreciation for their volunteers

National Volunteer Week (April 21 through 27) is a great opportunity for nonprofit managers to recognize the people who donate their time and energy to support the organization's cause. Nonprofits often don't have the capital to have a lot of full-time staff members to run events or help with operations, which is why volunteers step in to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. These people may not expect recognition, but they deserve to be thanked for all they do for the organization.

Nonprofit Quarterly recently published a piece that referenced an AARP blog post that outlined a few ways nonprofit managers can show appreciation for their volunteering team members. A few of these ideas include:

  • Hosting a dinner for volunteers thanking them for their efforts
  • Providing volunteers with symbols of thanks from the organization 
  • Publishing articles in daily publications boasting the team's accomplishments

Be smart about rewarding volunteers
While nonprofit managers may want to give the world to volunteers who have been so helpful over the years, it's important to know there are strict guidelines volunteers have to follow when accepting benefits from organizations. According to Henry & Horne, an accounting firm in Arizona, giving volunteers gift cards could actually be a "taxable event to the recipient, and they could now qualify as a paid employee subject to employment taxes, withholdings and issuance of a Form W-2."

Nonprofit managers must remember volunteers don't need to be compensated with any sort of capital, and they help the organization out of the goodness in their hearts. A simple "thank you" is sometimes all volunteers need for recognition.

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The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

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Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

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