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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