A $5 gift card to a coffee shop is more hassle than it's worth. No one actually wants one. Give your church volunteers the gift of a shared experience custom made just for them! Consider hiring a comedian to come to your next volunteer appreciation event. (BTW - if you don't do one of these yet, start the tradition and watch your volunteer base grow closer together and start inviting their friends to volunteer!)
It's cost-effective and requires very little planning. Sure you can make it a dinner, but you can also just serve popcorn and soda. The main show is not the meal. Even if you have it catered, planning it all out is stressful! If you work in a church you certainly don't need more things to worry about! Also, depending on your church size, there's a great chance you will spend less on your comedian than on a meal. A plane ticket is $200 - $500 to almost anywhere domestic from my local airport. That won't cover the cost of your fancy cupcakes. :)
A shared laugh creates new friendships. I mention this in many articles because it needs to be said. A comedian creates "inside jokes" and "inside jokes" create friendships. I've been in full-time ministry for 20 years. I have plenty of material that volunteers will love!
It shows that you really do value your volunteers. A meal or an awards show theme can get tired. A comedian always brings in something new. It shows your volunteers that you think about them and truly want them to be happy as they serve!
Have you hired a comedian for a volunteer appreciation? How'd it go?