April is National Volunteer Month, and to celebrate, we wanted to help you turn your valuable volunteers into donors! 

Did you know that the monetary value of volunteers is much higher than minimum wage?  Add onto that a positive attitude around volunteering stemming from a love of giving back, and you get even more valuable volunteer contributions. 

While the value of volunteers cannot be overstated, it’s still completely natural to wonder how you can inspire your volunteers to support you through making donations as well. 

The Odds are Already In Your Favor    

According to data from the International AFP Conference, the average volunteer is FOUR TIMES as likely to donate as someone who doesn’t volunteer and they typically give TEN TIMES as much!  

Does this statement resonate with how your volunteers interact with your organization?  If not, it could simply be because you don’t have a strategy in place that encourages all-around support.   

Turn Volunteers into Donors in 5 Steps

1. Steer Them in the Right Direction

From the very beginning, you should be letting your volunteers know what your organization is ALL about, which includes your fundraising efforts.  A great way to introduce this is during your volunteer orientation.  So instead of limiting your orientation to the tasks each person or group will be assigned to, you can make it more inclusive.  

This also means addressing and treating volunteers as overall supporters of your cause, which includes keeping them informed about your fundraising efforts, how much more you need to reach campaign goals, and what those funds are helping to pay for.  

By keeping them in the loop and providing every opportunity to give, you’re opening a door for your volunteers that they otherwise would not have known existed.

2. Provide a Fun & Memorable Volunteer Experience

Now that the “donating door” is open, what’s motivating your volunteers to take that extra step?  They’re already supporting you through donating their time, which means they clearly care about your cause, but how are you making their experience one that drives them to donate to you as well?

3. Show Heartfelt Appreciation 

Providing a fun and inclusive volunteer experience is also a way of showing how much you appreciate their support!  There are many many ways to show heartfelt appreciation toward your volunteers that go far beyond a simple thank you or generic gift.  If you’re looking for creative inspiration, download our free list of 100 ways to thank your volunteers.  

4. Request a Gift 

You won’t want to do this with just any volunteer, but there are going to be individuals who are more personally invested in your organization than others, and you need to know that it’s okay to reach out and ask for a donation when it feels appropriate to do so.  

People who have been involved as volunteers for a long time and/or show greater interest and involvement in the work you’re doing than others should be asked if they’d be interested in donating to a specific effort you feel resonates with who they are.  

Make your asks to volunteers more about informing and giving opportunities than directly stating, “please give X amount for this cause.”

Start out your ask with a thank you and sincere acknowledgment of the value of their volunteer work, then proceed to share information about a campaign or fundraiser, what your goal is, and how much money is needed to pay for specific efforts within your organization.  Make it more about your cause – who you’re helping – and less about YOU.  

5. Use Integrated Giving Technology 

If you’re using a platform to collect online donations, does it also include volunteer management?  Having all your supporters engaged with you in one place makes it easier for them to become all-around supporters of your organization.  

Your volunteers can easily make online donations, and your donors can also decide to volunteer when engaged with a comprehensive giving platform.

Your volunteers are already four times as likely to donate than non-volunteers, but they need the opportunity, motivation and sometimes the go-ahead to do so! 🙂 

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