Apr 13, 2015
In carrying out your nonprofit's missions, the hours invested by volunteers are just as important as monetary donations. Your volunteers are your greatest advocates and often contribute to the legwork of fundraising. Even the most dedicated volunteers can't do it alone - a nonprofit needs funds to carry out its goals, and who better to ask for donations than the people who've already proven their loyalty and support? Donors and volunteers don't need to fall into two separate camps, according to Fundraising Success Magazine. So, consider combining the powers of your volunteer management database with your donor management software.
Don't be afraid to open this conversation during new volunteer orientations, when the goal is already to give supporters detailed information about your organization. Just as volunteers like to know the different tasks they can choose from, they're probably open to hearing the whole spectrum of how they can support your nonprofit.
If you don't feel comfortable asking for donations from your hardworking volunteers, try reframing the request. It's not a demand for money. It's another avenue through which a volunteer can offer support. Framing the request as an invitation to participate in the mission gives your volunteers the chance to consider making a donation without feeling any pressure.
Remember to highlight that you're all on the same team, working toward the same greater good. Position a donation as one way to support this cause, not the only way. Not all of your volunteers can afford to give money but they all deserve recognition for helping you achieve your goals. Fostering respect for your volunteers also leaves the door open for future donation.
Don't lose sight of the importance of personal connection, reminded John Haydon. Just as your volunteers continually invest in you, so should you regularly show how much you value them. Ask them for feedback, and act on any suggestions for bettering their experience. If you consistently connect and communicate, you'll create trust and cement long-lasting support for your mission.