May 25, 2016
What is the best way for your nonprofit to utilize enthusiastic volunteers? Some organizations may feel it's best to limit the responsibility placed on those who contribute their time. These nonprofits will provide them with simple tasks for fear of burning them out or putting too much pressure on individuals who are eager but untrained.
Keeping your volunteers away from important projects may not be the best idea, however. A survey conducted by The Able Altruist nonprofit blog found 24 percent of volunteers said seeing proof of impact was a prime motivator to continue working with an organization. Making your volunteers an integral part of fundraising can encourage participation while increasing financial success.
Utilizing volunteer fundraising ideas
Your organization may already use volunteers to perform big projects like collecting funds and communicating with donors. It's important that volunteers feel like they are actually contributing their unique skills to these tasks, instead of just carrying out busy work.
When nonprofits put volunteers' ideas into motion, they see a direct results of their involvement with a good cause. Opening up brainstorming sessions to new groups may also help you come up with new ideas for fundraisers. Impact Online said the people who donate their time to your cause often start by contributing funds. Volunteers represent groups most likely to be interested in your organization, so they can communicate what donors look for from fundraisers.
Your volunteers will also have an understanding of your community. They may be a source for ideas on which local businesses to partner with or where fundraising events can take place.
Giving volunteers agency to speak for nonprofits
You have to allow your volunteers to share their thoughts and opinions on your organization's success and speak to potential donors as a representative for your nonprofit.
Modern communication channels make it easy for volunteers to talk to a variety of audiences. The Social Fish suggested that organizations use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to appeal to millennial volunteers and said to place a representative of the group in charge of communications. Younger audiences are often comfortable with online channels and may make your organization aware of the particular features and audiences available to each site.
While you should give volunteers agency, you should also model fundraising techniques and make sure communications conform to your brand. Payment processing software that works with Facebook and other online channels provides volunteers with the means to easily guide audiences to donation pages.
Providing volunteers with payment processing tools
Volunteers can also ask for donations while meeting with donors in person. Mobile payment processing technology helps volunteers act as advocates for causes and ensures that the financial information submitted by contributors stays safe.
Mobile technology allows your organization to provide volunteers with information no matter where they are or what they are doing. Being able to reference central organization data through mobile software means they can look up best practices for fundraising, donor interactions or accepting payments. When you work with a payment processor that offers security reassurance, volunteers can show donors exactly how mobile payments will remain private and walk them through the financial transaction.
Showing volunteers the financial effects of fundraising
The technology and tools you give volunteers should be simple to use so they can act without constantly checking in with supervisors. At the same time, simplicity reduces the chance that users will make a mistake. If mobile tools - or other fundraising equipment - is plugged into a central information system, you can see exactly how volunteers perform.
While data visibility is an excellent solution for nonprofit managers, it can also be used to show volunteers the results of their actions. Combining thanks yous with hard numbers demonstrates how volunteers really make a difference.