Oct 16, 2014
It's true that volunteers are one of the best sources of promotion for a cause as they truly care and actively support the nonprofit they work for free of charge. Without these people, organizations would flounder. Volunteers not only help spread awareness by participating in events online and offline, they are also voices for the cause wherever they go. Whether people discuss the nonprofit with their family and friends or on their Facebook or Twitter, they are still sharing the cause across their social networks. There is no doubt volunteers help spread the name and purpose of the organization far and wide, but can this become peer fundraising?
A closer look
Peer fundraising is a term that The Nonprofit Marketing Blog refers to as people seeking donations from their peers. This is becoming increasingly common - an example would be the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that surfaced online over the past few months. Cause supporters can be a big influence on others around them, with many having the ability to ignite donation trends among peers. Volunteer fundraising can be incredibly helpful and easy if done correctly and accurately. While operating on a much different level than gift or development officers, peer fundraisers can take a lot of the basic asking tactics and use them on their family and friends.
How to begin
The Nonprofit Marketing Blog posed the idea of a peer fundraising campaign, stating that the most important ingredient in this process is passion. With passion, people can emanate pride and joy in a cause and get other people to experience that, too. For volunteers to be successful, nonprofits can set them off on the right foot with the proper skills and tools:
- Start with a theme: Take to the creative board and help volunteers engage their peers in a smart and fun fundraising campaign. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was simple and easy, but incredibly influential across social media platforms.
- Don't prolong it: Don't expect volunteers to keep coming back like it's a full-time job. Encourage them to take a few hours or days to talk to family and friends, but keep away from lengthy campaigns that will burn them out quickly.
- Make it fun: Peers are only going to listen if their interests are piqued. Make the whole process entertaining and interesting overall.
The answer to the often-asked question regarding turning volunteers into fundraisers is easy. Yes, they can become their own type of fundraisers and have a big impact on the organization. Don't become overzealous about their abilities, but make sure to utilize them to their full potential if they are willing.