Steve Maleh

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofits. Not only do they contribute time, but many volunteers contribute monetarily to the organizations they support. According to the International AFP conference, the average volunteer is four times as likely to donate. And they typically give ten times as much as the usual donor. Turning volunteers into donors should be a high priority for any nonprofit. There are numerous strategies nonprofits can employ.

Give a strong introduction. Make the volunteer orientation inclusive. Give a tour of your facilities and an overview of all the services you offer. Talk about the history of your organization and what it accomplishes. Ideally, you’ll have someone higher-up in your nonprofit give the talk. You could even have people whom you have helped talk a little as well.

Treat volunteers as supporters of the cause. Tell the potential donors about your fundraising efforts. What will your new campaign achieve? How far are you from meeting it? Do your best to be as transparent with your volunteer base as possible.

Make volunteering a fun and memorable experience. This is critical, as you want positive emotions associated with your organization. Any work that is highly specialized or remotely dangerous should be done by a professional. Volunteers should be having fun and socializing as well. Remember, they came here on their own time. Many want to make new friends as well.

Show your appreciation. You could do this in many ways. On your market material and website, feature volunteers. Have networking events for volunteers and families. If your budget permits, have food and snacks. At events, take pictures and send the digital copies to volunteers. Send personalized thank-you notes.

Offer opportunities to share. Make it easy to share your organization on social media. Have a website and newsletter. Remember, every potential volunteer is an ambassador for your cause.

Request donations. You can collect contact information when they volunteer. Then you can send emails or snail mail. Don’t forget to thank them for their help. You can explain your new campaign or fundraising goal. Some might like to send a small amount each month.

Organizations need both volunteers and donors to function. Fortunately, many people do both. Follow these tips to increase the number of donors you have.

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