4 Important Tips to Help Convert Volunteers to Donors

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 24.8.2020

person standing wearing red shirt

Volunteers are an asset to organizations. They can come in the form of a board member or someone participating in a park clean up event. They can serve in positions when times are lean and build your reputation in the community. While they are giving their time, volunteers should be engaged as potential donors. Whether they are one-time or ongoing, volunteers can be your best donors.

They are already connected to your mission

One of the most important reasons to engage your volunteers as donors is their connection to your mission. Volunteers come to organizations in several ways. Some people volunteer at organizations because the cause has had a direct impact on their lives. Others volunteer because they believe in the mission and have become an ally to the cause. Regardless of what drew the individual to your organization, they already have a connection to the importance of your work and its value to the community. This connection makes it important to ask volunteers to donate.

Great volunteer experiences help create donors (and open other doors)

In order to have a volunteer become an advocate for your cause, they need to have a good volunteer experience. Organizations will ask for volunteers but when it is time to volunteer the activities can be disorganized and chaotic. It is important to set clear expectations between your organization and the volunteer to ensure that you both benefit from their time.

Help your volunteer understand how their time impacts the organization from a broader perspective. For example, if you have a volunteer doing data input to help you with grant reporting, let them know that their work helps fund programs and services. Seeing the greater impact of what may seem like a small task will help the volunteer know their work is valuable. Great volunteer experiences can lead to more opportunities while a bad experience can close doors.

Show your volunteers appreciation

It is incredibly important to ensure that your volunteers feel good about their experience and appreciated. “Thank you” is a key phrase in fundraising and when it comes to volunteers. There are so many ways to thank volunteers ranging from thank you notes to volunteer awards ceremonies. Showing gratitude can make the volunteer feel better about donating to your organization.

Some people volunteer because they are passionate about your cause but are not in a position to make a financial contribution. While they may not be able to donate themselves, they do have a network that they can bring into the organization as donors or volunteers. A great way to engage with your volunteers’ network is by inviting them to fundraisers and encouraging them to bring a friend.  

Get them entered in your donor database

Whether they are a one-time volunteer or recurring, it is important to enter their information into your donor database. They should receive information on fundraisers, events, campaigns, and any other organizational happenings. Keeping them informed about your organization's financial needs is important because they directly witness the impact of your programs and services.

To learn more about the government grant application process contact us.

Photo Credit: ray sangga kusuma


Topics: Nonprofit, Donor Relationships, Networking, Volunteers