Volunteers are one of any nonprofit’s most valuable assets. These are the people, after all, who are passionate about the mission of your organization and selflessly give their time and energy to help you achieve your goals. While a volunteer’s contributions are fantastic (and priceless), they may have even more to give - your best donors might be right under your nose!
The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy found that the more people volunteered, the more money they donated. And people who donated more than 100 hours donated approximately $78K, which is twice as much as those who donated less time. Additionally, two thirds of volunteers believe “true philanthropy” is defined by giving both time and money, according to a study conducted by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.
Volunteers already support and believe in your organization, so transitioning them into donors will be easier than you think. In his article 4 Ways to Turn Volunteers Into Donors, Jeff Jowdy offers some helpful tips:
- Orient Your Volunteers. In your orientation session outline that volunteer hours, as well as donations, are essential to the success of your organization.
- Provide a Rewarding Volunteer Experience. Be sure to communicate with your volunteers, ask for feedback, and create a connection.
- Make the ask. Ask in a similar way for any donors, targeting your message to volunteers and their interests. They are among those who should best understand your mission and hands-on work.
- Recognize Your Volunteers. Identify and celebrate the donations made by volunteers.
Do be sure to make your volunteers aware of your wishlist for in-kind donations, also. The more options and opportunities you provide for giving, the more your volunteers will become engaged. And remember: every new volunteer is a potential new donor. In the end, everyone can become a donor and every donation will count!
For more on volunteers:
About the Author: A reformed fashion addict, Aloma Arter now spends her time writing, walking her dog, beating her grandmother at Scrabble, and seeking awesome adventures. She holds a BA in Media and Professional Communications from the University of Pittsburgh (and a certificate in Community and Corporate Relations).