Thoughtful Volunteer Gifts

Halloween is over. We all know what that means. The Holiday Season has begun. It’s the busiest time of year with shopping, baking, cooking, family and friend events, work functions and a great time to show appreciation towards your volunteers and staff.

Does your non-profit exchange gifts at the office? Maybe your board wants to chip in for an end of the board term gift for the chair. Or perhaps you are wondering how to show your appreciation to your donor and volunteer base with almost no budget to do it. This post will at least spark some good ideas that fit your organization, staff and Board of Directors.

Four ‘Thank You Bunches’ Gift Ideas

The Sweetie Tooth
Have a few chocolate lover volunteers? Show them that you care during the holidays with A 100 Grand candy bar and attach a note that says, ‘Volunteers are Priceless”.  Another idea is to use gold wrapped chocolate coins can be pared with a note that reads, “Volunteers are worth their weight in gold.” Gourmet Mints are also a nice touch with a note that says, “Your service is worth a mint to us!”

Want to take it up a notch? Go gourmet and local! Find a local sweet shop that hand makes these yummy thank yous. The Cellar Door Chocolates fits that bill in Louisville Ky.

Green Thumbs Up
Maybe your organization is all about our environment. Keeping it green and clean is part of your mission. So celebrate that vision with a mum or poinsettia with a card saying, “We grow stronger every day you are with us.” A painted clay pot with a set of gardening gloves and a card that says, “Thanks for getting your hands dirty with us this year.”

Take it up a notch by drawing your mission on the side or attaching a picture of the board to the clay pot. If your non-profit serves children perhaps they could help with the project.

Success Stories
Want to remind your Board of Directors and staff what has been accomplished this year? With just a minimal budget and Internet access you create a Year in Review memory book. Is there one picture that sums up the major accomplishment this year? Get it printed on a canvas as wall art.  Canvas On Demand and Shutterfly are my two favorites for this type of project.

Personalize it
Was there a running theme for this year’s Board of Directors at your organization? CafePress, a local to Louisville business, lets you personalize pretty much anything you can think of with almost anything.

Do you have other ideas for holidays gifts this season? Leave a comment to share your ideas

Non-Profit Website Choice

This past weekend, I attended the WordCamp Louisville conference. WordCamps are held all over the US to bring together users, programmers, and designers who are interested in WordPress. So it’s a camp (or conference) on how to best utilize the website engine, WordPress. I think WordPress is a great tool for non-profits to use for their websites.  Scratching your head a bit still? Let me try again.

WordPress is a platform that many many groups use to build their website with all over the world. In fact, 1 in 5 websites are using WordPress right now as their platform of choice. Think of WordPress as a car frame and engine. Every car needs a frame and engine. On that frame you can add an exterior, wheels, doors, mirrors, leather interior even the fuzzy dice to customize your car. That’s what WordPress is like. There are themes, widgets and plugins to customize your site to your wants and needs.

Themes and Widgets
Themes are like the exterior to your car. They determine the color, placement of your logo, where your home and sub menus will be located on the page and so forth. Widgets are like the added features to a car that usually don’t add much functionality to it like cup holders or interior color. Widgets are sections of information that are typically displayed on the side bar areas of your site. Like our affiliations section on the home page of our site is a widget. A non-profit might use that space as a “Volunteer Spotlight” section or promoting an upcoming event.

Plugins bring extra functionality to your site like power windows or seat warmers on a car. At the conference this past weekend, the most interesting plugins were the event calendar, the countdown to your event and some of the security plugins to keep your site from getting a lot of spam.

GF&M feels the WordPress platform is the right choice for non-profits because it is so easily adapted to fit your over all and everyday needs. Want to start counting down to your annual gala? You can do that. Want to keep your donors up to date on the upcoming programs? You can do that too. Want to start a newsletter? Yes you can. Plus you don’t have to know HTML or be a programmer to change the information on your site. It is very user friendly.

Have questions on WordPress or how it could fit your organization’s needs? Leave a comment, email or call us.

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