Increase in Volunteering is Good News!

22/05/2009 at 10:07 Leave a comment

Create opportunities to engage volunteer time, talent and treasure.

Yeah! More people are volunteering! With layoffs and downsizing, the newly out of work are deciding to use their new found “free” time for good! This presents a great opportunity for the non-profit community to reach back and make a triple bottom line difference – better for your organization, your community and your volunteers.

Volunteering offers a great cultivation opportunity if done well. We know volunteers invest deeply in an organization they serve. They become involved and attached to the mission and work when their time is well spent and appreciated. According to research from Stanford University, donors who volunteer give more than donors who have not.

Remember to match organization needs with volunteer interests. This is very much like chasing money because it’s there but you have to create a program to get it. Be sure to offer or create volunteer opportunities that fit your mission. If you don’t have a full-time volunteer manager (hmmm, possibly a good assignment for a volunteer?), let’s match the amount of time it takes to manage the volunteers and activities with the end result. There are lots of internet opportunities to post volunteer opportunities:

Most importantly, everyone needs to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the task.

Let’s talk about how to turn these volunteers into donors. I often hear from volunteers and organizations, “I gave time, I don’t need to give money or can’t that’s why I volunteer.” Certainly, if a volunteer joins your corps after being laid-off, now may not the time to ask them give. But it is imperative to let volunteers know it costs staff, money and volunteers to make your mission real. When your volunteer gets a new job – and they will – they will remember how well you treated them, how welcome and useful they felt and they will want to give back more than their time.

There are many ways to let volunteers know you welcome their time and treasure:

  • Volunteer orientation gives them an overview of your work, opportunities and fundraising
  • Cultivate a relationship with them like any other donor
  • Create a volunteer recognition program to recognize
    • Time and talent
    • Creativity
    • Consistency
    • Awards
    • Appreciation opportunities
  • Thank you notes/emails go a long way
  • Include them in all communications
    • Newsletters/Enews
    • Email blasts
    • Blog posts – Ask them to write some for you!
    • Solicitations written specifically to volunteers
    • Ask them to be part of your social media outreach – they can reach others for you
    • Invite them to fundraising events
      • As a volunteer
      • As a guest at a reduced donation (or not)
  • Ask them to raise money from others on your behalf

Remember, orientate volunteer, engage them in important activities that make a difference and recognize them for their time and talent. When we effectively cultivate volunteers like we work with donors, they will give when asked.

Next post will talk about new volunteer opportunities that can extend your outreach with their help!

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Entry filed under: Engaging Volunteers. Tags: , , .

Raise Awareness for Your Organization Your Fundraising Needs to Change Now – SSIR Opinion and Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Barbara’s Twitter Feed

Beyond Melbourne

Food Travel Markets Artists

Annual Fund Lab

The Annual Fund Isn't Annual At All

Gippsland Unwrapped

Zero waste, plastic free and no palm oil. My life 'unwrapped' in Gippsland.

Just another site


Leaders Not Managers

Susan Sink

life on these 80 acres

The Net Naturalist

A field guide to social media.

Good By Choice

philanthropy. kindness. insights. observations

Pretty Prints & Paper

Using the bullet journal and calligraphy to cultivate an intentional life

Passion Themed Life

multi-passionate mom learning as i go


Life with Labs in Las Vegas

No Small Change

All things pertaining to communications, from the bunch of us at Barapani

Activate Learning Solutions

Learning Solutions that Activate Performance in Your Company

Clay Myers-Bowman

Producer, Photographer & Fundraising Consultant

Startups and Burritos

Mostly about startups but sometimes about burritos too.

Nonprofit Nate

Helping people help causes.

Talisman Thinking Out Loud

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

%d bloggers like this: