Giving Gift Cards as Honoraria

An honorarium is a thoughtful way to recognize or thank someone for their time. This practice is necessary in many professional industries—whether it’s a researcher hoping to recognize a respondent for their contribution to a project or a program director wanting to thank a guest speaker for presenting at an event.

Whatever the reason, offering a token of appreciation doesn’t go unnoticed. You can create a lasting impression by sending gift cards to the people who go out of their way to provide a special service for your organization.

Why Use Gift Cards as Honoraria?

Gift cards are a win-win. On your end, they take out the guesswork, saving you time that would normally be spent thinking about gift ideas. From a recipient standpoint, they’re widely popular. In fact, gift cards have been at the top of wish lists for the last 14 years, according to the National Retail Federation. Simply put, people like having a choice.

“Our participants have expressed appreciation for the flexibility of gift card options,” says Rene Guerrero, the facility manager at Jackson Adept Research (JAR). JAR is a large qualitative and quantitative marketing research company that works with us to deliver honorarium to its research participants.

Gift Cards Don’t Have to Be Impersonal

Some professionals worry about the perception of gift cards and wonder if they come across as impersonal. Ultimately, the meaningfulness of any gift comes down to presentation. Any gift you send—whether it’s a gift card or a specific item—has the potential to fall flat without context. It’s the personal note, thank-you email, or attached card that really conveys appreciation. Gift cards don’t have to be impersonal. In fact, many of our customers create meaningful reward experiences by customizing their email templates to include personalized and specific thank-you messages.

How to Track Gift Cards as Honoraria

Any honorarium you deliver should be tracked. Here are the most important elements to include in your reports:

  • Name of gift card sender
  • Name of gift card recipient
  • Email or address of gift card recipient
  • Reason gift card was sent
  • Gift card amount
  • Date gift card was sent

How our Customers Deliver Honoraria

For special services where payments aren’t required, our customers often use Reward Link®. With Reward Link, they send gift card incentives instantly via email. When their recipient opens the email, they click the Reward Link URL and are directed to a gift-card catalog, which provides 100+ global brands to choose from.  

Next Steps

Are you a researcher? Check out our information and resources to help make incentives and payment disbursements simple or email to learn more about how we make delivering honoraria easy.

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