Many nonprofit organizations might look at fundraising and engaging volunteers as two separate areas of operation. But, in recent years, nonprofits have begun intersecting the two responsibilities, strategically engaging volunteers with the goal of boosting fundraising results.
Strategies range from simple, indirect tasks to robust, skills-based campaigns. Regardless of the size or scope of the method, the trend has gained quite a bit of traction, making it useful to examine effective ways that volunteers can boost fundraising results.
Personalize Donor Appreciation Efforts
Nonprofits know that donors like to feel special. They want to know that their individual gifts were acknowledged, appreciated, and put to good use. However, it’s nearly impossible for nonprofit staff to thank every donor personally; but, it’s not impossible for a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer force. Following major fundraising campaigns, nonprofits can set up a group of volunteers whose task it is to make personal phone calls and write handwritten thank you notes to donors. The purpose of these phone calls and notes is not to ask for more money; it is simply to recognize and appreciate. The monetary benefit will come later down the line, as donors who receive personalized appreciation are more likely to continue donating in the future.
Describe Donor Impact through Stories
To attract new donors and to keep past donors coming back, nonprofits must demonstrate that donations are making a significant impact on their cause. Showing this impact comes largely in the form of hard and fast statistical data, but those numbers should always be accompanied by anecdotal stories. Nonprofits should enlist the help of their volunteers to share their stories through in-house communication methods, such as newsletters, blogs, social media, brochures, and web sites. Volunteers should also be available at large informational events and fundraisers, where they can speak from the heart and describe how the organization makes a difference. These stories paint the picture that infographics and statistics can’t; they appeal to donors’ emotions and convince them that, by donating to the organization, they will be doing a great service for the community.
Enhance Online Presence
Nonprofits often struggle to keep up with rapidly advancing technology, having neither the funds nor the staff to maintain a technological infrastructure that keeps pace with the rest of society. A skills-based volunteer force can help in this area, offering assistance in areas that are crucial to the success of nonprofits’ fundraising efforts. Skills-based volunteers can increase a nonprofit’s social media presence through a carefully crafted marketing campaign, develop professional infographics, redesign or improve a web site, or organize an attractive crowdfunding campaign. Nonprofits’ online presence is a key factor to the success of fundraising, so developing a meaningful relationship with skills-based volunteers is essential to the end result.
Establish Mobile Peer-to-Peer Donation Campaigns
People are more likely to donate to a cause if someone they know is donating to it or fundraising for it. The digital age makes it easy for nonprofits to leverage these probabilities to their advantage. If nonprofits encourage their volunteers to fundraise on their behalf through a mobile fundraising app, they are asking their volunteers to do little more than click a few buttons, and they reach an exponentially larger audience. Much like MobileServe’s Social Integrations & Sharing Feature, which allows volunteers to share their stories and encourage others to volunteer in the process, volunteer fundraising through a mobile fundraising app harnesses the power of social networking for the benefit of the common good. When they make donations, volunteers can easily share the information with their social networks, and encourage them to support the same worthy cause, all with a few simple clicks.
Volunteers provide a valuable service to nonprofits, and they are typically willing to give more of their time for special duties. Asking volunteers to lend a hand with these four strategies will engage volunteers in new and different jobs while helping nonprofits boost fundraising results and reach new potential donors.
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Volunteers are essential for nonprofits. Managing those volunteers can be difficult. Learn more about MobileServe, and how our app can help your organization manage and track its social impact by following the link below!