Volunteer Engagement Strategies: Turning Volunteers into Donors
Part 7: From Volunteering to Financial Support
This week, we officially wrap up our Volunteer Engagement series. We’ve talked a lot, from how to create the most effective volunteer application to how you can help your organization’s volunteers get the most out of their experience. If you are successful, you should eventually be able to steer your most dedicated volunteers to show their appreciation for the organization in other ways. Let’s look at how to do that.
Volunteer Engagement Strategy #7: Turn Volunteers into Donors
If your nonprofit’s volunteer engagement strategy ends after the volunteer shift, you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to impact your mission in other ways and engage with supporters over the course a lifetime.
Think of it this way: if a volunteer cares enough about your cause to give their time, energy, and skills to it, they’re likely to show that devotion in other ways too. That’s why it’s crucial that you map out a plan to show volunteers how (and why) they can support your nonprofit as a donor, too!
Every volunteer who walks through the door to pledge their time is the beginning of a relationship that could grow into lifelong giving, major giving, and deeper connections with your community. However, when volunteer activity is managed in isolation from donor activity, their overlap is entirely lost!
To convert your volunteers into donors, focus on building a volunteer engagement strategy that’s connected to your nonprofit’s other efforts. To do this, you’ll need to:
- Start with robust nonprofit software. As we’ve already mentioned, the best volunteer management software isn’t just volunteer management software. You should be able to see volunteer data in conjunction with all of your fundraising and donor stewardship efforts to plan a comprehensive strategy that encompasses all areas of your nonprofit.
- Regularly recognize volunteers. By providing a rewarding volunteer experience, you’ll show your volunteers how much you value their effort. When your volunteers feel good about their involvement, they’re much more likely to seek out other ways to show their support — like making a donation!
- Make giving easy. The more channels you have for giving, the easier it will be for volunteers (and all other supporters) to conveniently make a donation. Your best bet is to work with fundraising software that offers plenty of options, from online donation forms to mobile giving and even peer-to-peer fundraising.
Ultimately, the only foolproof way to turn volunteers into donors is to ask them! You’ll need to craft a compelling appeal, whether that means sending them an email with a link to your donation form or calling them up on the phone.
A great time to encourage volunteers to extend their impact through making a donation is during your year-end fundraising campaign. Since you’ll already be kicking your donation solicitation into high-gear, reach out to volunteers to thank them again for their support and show them easy ways to make even more of a difference.
What to Know: To create a truly successful volunteer engagement strategy, you’ll need to have a plan in place for turning your volunteers into donors. The more ways they can show their support, the more engaged they’ll be now and for years to come.
Volunteer engagement looks a little different for every organization, but as long as you’re connecting with your dedicated volunteers, you’re bound to be successful.
Want to learn more about how the Giveffect all-in-one software system can help your nonprofit in its volunteer management efforts? Visit us online at www.giveffect.com.