Volunteers are individuals who have prioritized the goal and mission of your organization over their own leisurely pursuits. Volunteers come equipped with time, skills, perspectives and enthusiasm that enrich and refresh your organization. The personal dedication demonstrated, is accreditation for your cause and its operations. It’s your duty to efficiently manage this gift as a resource. Recruiting and maintaining a diverse group of volunteers is an incredible resource and should be considered an integral component of a nonprofits overall business model. April is National Volunteer Month, what does your organization have in place to empower and attract volunteers?
The relationship established with your volunteers makes them twice more likely to donate to your cause. Pledging ones own time incites stronger emotions for your cause than cash giving. In 2015 alone, Americans donated approximately 370 billion dollars and pledged approximately 8 billion hours of their time. Considering that the average value of the volunteer’s work time is approximately $23.56, the value of pledged time has been a theoretical $192 billion! There needs to be a concerted effort to convert and maintain your volunteer ‘workforce’. Remember the gift of time within your thanking best practices! Pledged time having tantamount value to cash should also embolden the nature of your thank you’s: and at the least they should be just as gracious, custom and prompt as your fiscal donation thank you’s.
Volunteer trips are an excellent way to organize and accomplish fundraising goals. Set up mission trips with preset, minimum fundraising goals volunteers will have to reach in order to participate. Designate portions of these goals as direct gifts made out to your organization. It an excellent technique to engage peer to peer fundraising as well as advertise your cause in your community. Your organization should ethically design these trips and try to make the most of the motivation and involvement of your volunteers. Make the most of the progress that you are making after a volunteer has completed a service trip. Their perspective and motivation levels are peaked and many nonprofits waste that potential energy by not being prepared with further steps of engagement. Constantly refresh channels that can utilize energy and benefit from story telling and real world experience.
Have volunteers participate in challenges. Ask them to donate gifts, time and/or expertise. There are plenty of fundraising ideas on our Hopsie blog to help you engage your volunteers! Maintain highly organized training so that your volunteers are well versed and constantly updated on best practices. We wish your campaigns the best of luck– engage uniquely with some of our Hopsie fundraising ideas!