Turn Volunteers Into Donors: 4 Strategies to Encourage Gifts


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This guest post was provided by InitLive.

Your committed team of volunteers are some of your organization’s greatest advocates and supporters. While they donate their time and skills to your cause, they can also make generous monetary donations as well. It’s no surprise that volunteers can be turned into donors for your cause. However, it can be a balancing act to ensure you aren’t asking too much of your supporters. Since your volunteers are already invested in your organization and mission, it is possible to convert them to donors while maintaining your existing relationship with them using the right strategy.

Fostering meaningful engagement with existing volunteers through good management, communications, activities, and information will further deepen your volunteers’ commitment to your cause and increase the likelihood of converting them into donors along the way. That said, investing in an exceptional volunteer engagement strategy will set your organization up for long-term success.

In this article, we’ll share four powerful strategies you can adopt to help turn your volunteers into donors:

  1. Ensure a strong online presence
  2. Share your mission and nonprofit story
  3. Leverage corporate philanthropy
  4. Invest in supporter management tools

Donors and volunteers are both committed to investing their resources towards your cause. While a donor offers monetary support and a volunteer donates their time and effort, their motivations remain aligned. In fact, studies show that more than 67% of worldwide donors also choose to volunteer locally in their communities.

This provides a fantastic opportunity to deepen a volunteer’s investment in your cause through monetary means. Now, let’s dive into how you can start converting volunteers into donors.

1. Ensure a strong online presence

Your volunteers are likely already engaged on your website in order to review and sign up for new volunteer opportunities and access any pertinent information. This makes your website a great tool to encourage volunteers to consider donating money to your cause as well.

Optimizing your nonprofit website doesn’t need to be complicated. Here a few simple ways to encourage your volunteers to donate:

  • Add donation buttons throughout your website, especially on your volunteer webpage.
  • Share stories or examples of how donations make a difference for your constituents.. This can be a simple quote, statistic, or even an impact story.
  • Make the donation process simple with online forms embedded directly on your website.

The nicer your website, the more volunteers will interact with it. That’s why creating a user-friendly website that offers your audience everything they are looking for will increase your online presence in the long run.

Luckily, there are so many nonprofits already using these tactics on their websites, it helps to look around and take inspiration from other nonprofits websites to get you started on the right path.

2. Share your mission and nonprofit story

The power of storytelling is one of the greatest strategies to harness to gain more support toward your cause and mission. Consider that your volunteers likely understand how their time and effort helps towards making a difference. But they might not know about all the initiatives and programs your organization offers your community!.

That where storytelling can come in handy to fill the gaps and inspire more people to take action. Whether it’s a monthly impact story sent out through email or a simple weekly social media post that informs supporters of your impact, the more stories you tell, the more volunteers it will reach.

People want to know what exactly their money will do toward a cause, and being transparent about how it helps goes a long way in motivating volunteers to take the step to donate  to your cause.

3. Leverage corporate philanthropy

More and more businesses are adopting corporate social responsibility initiatives which offers nonprofit organizations a great opportunity to partner with businesses for both fundraising and corporate volunteering programs.

According to Investopedia, “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.”

Many corporations set targets like annual donation goals and a total number of corporate volunteer hours serviced as a part of their annual goals. This provides you the opportunity to bring in extra support through corporate gift matching and corporate volunteerism efforts.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 84% of people are more likely to donate to your organization in the first place if their gift will be matched.
  • 1 in 3 indicate that they would contribute a larger donation if their gift is match eligible.

As you can see, corporate giving is a great opportunity to bring in more donations from corporate donors and volunteers alike. If you can turn a corporate volunteer into a donor, even better!

4. Invest in supporter management tools

The better experience your donors and volunteers have with your organization, the more long-term support they will give. That’s why investing in the right tools to ensure an optimal experience is essential to encouraging more commitment and increasing donations.

Delivering an exceptional volunteer experience requires a lot of moving parts to come together, which is why many organizations invest in volunteer management software (also known as a VMS). A VMS offers managers the opportunity to build an exceptional volunteer experience from recruitment and scheduling to shift check-in and check-out while collecting important volunteer data along the way.

A CRM offers managers the ability to track donor activities and interest in personalized communications to deliver truly meaningful engagements with your donors. A good CRM will allow you to have in-depth visibility on all your donor data and allow you to filter and segment your data easily to create tailored campaigns.

By investing in both a CRM and VMS, your organization can have a valuable pool of data that can be leveraged to deepen each group’s level of engagement with your organization. By integrating the two types of software, you can share data between them and identify which volunteers to target with donation requests and which donors to target with volunteerism campaigns. This allows you to realize the full potential of your existing supporters and deepen their engagement with your organization.

There are many ways to bring in more donations to your organization, but harnessing the untapped potential of your existing pool of volunteers and corporate partners offers your team a fantastic opportunity. Whether you decide to start with a simple donation button on your volunteer webpage or dive right into a fully integrated technology solution to make the most of all your donor and volunteer data, any step you take is a good step toward meeting and surpassing your goals.


Cassandra Smallman is a passionate content creator dedicated to fostering positive impact through thought leadership in both the Nonprofit sector and live events industry. You can find her work at www.initlive.com or on Linkedin and Twitter.

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