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Are You Budgeting Enough to Properly Show Volunteer Appreciation? by Bridget Galbreath

Are You Budgeting Enough to Properly Show Volunteer Appreciation?

The heart and soul of a non-profit organization are the volunteers who support the mission and the cause. These individuals work from the good of their hearts, not expecting – just doing because they want to help others. If you run a non-profit, you know all too well how much you rely on your volunteers. While they don’t expect to receive any direct recognition, it is a nice idea to show them how much you appreciate all of their hard work and dedication.

Hosting a volunteer appreciation event is a fantastic way to take your hat off to those giving, kind-hearted men and women. There are a number of ways you can show how thankful you are. For example, you could host a special banquet, plan a retreat, or even give out gift baskets. While all of these are great volunteer appreciation ideas, and are bound to be appreciated by your volunteers, they do require a monetary investment. Do you have enough money set aside for such an investment? How much do you need to set aside? How should you go about creating a budget?

Continue reading to find out how to successfully set up a volunteer appreciation budget.

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Determine the Appreciation Event:

How are you going to thank your volunteers? Are you going to host a dinner, plan a retreat, give gifts, or do something else? While your volunteers will likely appreciate anything you plan, take their interests into consideration. If they enjoy exploring and enjoying nature, for example, a wilderness retreat might be right up their alley.

Determine Your Needs:

Once you decide what type of affair you will be hosting, you will need to figure out what will be needed for the event. For instance, if you are hosting a dinner, not only will you need a catering hall, but you will also need decorations, entertainment, and whatever else you think will make the affair a success. Create a list of the things you want to include. You can use the old paper and pencil method, use a traditional spreadsheet, or utilize software specifically designed to help plan events, such as PlanningPod.

Estimate the Price Point:

Now you can move on to determine the price point of your volunteer appreciation event. To do this, you are going to need to do some research. Contact vendors, suppliers, travel agencies – anyone who can provide you with what you will need for the affair. Ask for price estimates. Contact several different vendors in order to find the best value for your budget. Calculate all of the expenses so you can get an idea of how much you will need to spend on the affair. Over-estimating is always better than under-estimating, as you don’t want to come up short on funds.

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Start Investing:

Now you can start investing in your volunteer appreciation event. Use a budgeting software to keep track of expenses and keep tabs on how much you have and how much you have to invest until you reach the goal for your budget. Try to invest whatever you can, whenever you can, into the budget. You may have to invest from your own pocket, or you can call on the help of others by hosting fundraisers in order to meet the needs of your budget (of course, you want to do this as slyly as possible so your volunteers are pleasantly surprised when they learn about the affair you have organized in their honor).

Without your volunteers, your non-profit would not be able to succeed. Show them how thankful you are for all of their hard work by hosting a volunteer appreciation day.

Bridget Galbreath is a freelance writer who specializes in providing money management tips for small and large businesses, as well as non-profit organizations.