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Top Tips to make Giving More Accessible for Volunteers

It’s no secret that a well-run volunteer program adds value to a nonprofit organization.

In fact, according to Independent Sector and Do Good Institute report, the value of a single volunteer hour in 2022 is roughly $29.95.

When you consider how much you gain from volunteer lifetime values and volunteer grants, not to mention the countless hours of free labor, it can be hard to think about asking for anything else from your volunteers.

However, it is important to remember that volunteers who choose to donate their time to your organization are more likely to be willing to donate money to your organization as well.

According to a Fidelity Charitable report, 87% of volunteers have an overlap between their volunteering and financial support, and 50% of volunteers say that their volunteer experiences lead them to give more financial support to an organization.

The research shows that volunteers want to donate.

It makes sense that your organization’s biggest supporters, who give consistent time and energy to your cause, would want to support your organization financially as well.

However, even though many volunteers want to donate, without the right strategies in place, it can be difficult for nonprofits to convert volunteers into donors.

Turning volunteers into donors is often about messaging and making the right ask so that volunteers feel equipped and encouraged to make a donation, no matter how small.

Accomplishing this can be easier said than done for many nonprofit organizations.

If you find your organization struggling to create a volunteer-to-donor pipeline, here are some tips that can help:

Track key volunteer and donor metrics

Keeping track of your volunteer engagement is just as important as keeping track of your donations.

When you set up a database to manage your volunteers and donors, make sure that you track how often your volunteers and donors are engaging with your organization. This could mean tracking which events they attend, the number of hours they volunteer with your organization, and their survey feedback among other metrics.

By keeping track of this information, you can determine when a volunteer may be ready to receive a donation “ask,” and you can send them a pitch that will resonate and make an impact.

For instance, someone who responds to a survey question with a statement that makes it clear they are looking for ways to further support or engage with your nonprofit may be ready to learn how they can start donating. Or, someone who attended a gala for your organization might respond favorably to a donation request that mentions the event they went to or the cause that the gala was meant to support.

By keeping track of these metrics, you will better position yourself to ask for a donation in the right way at the right moment.

Use volunteer and donor management software

Keeping track of these metrics and gaining additional insight into your volunteers and donors will be nearly impossible without the use of volunteer and donor management software.

Donor and volunteer management software include a host of features like communication tools, donation tracking and integration, automatic volunteer hour tracking, donor trend analytics, and volunteer scheduling tools that will aim to reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to manage and engage donors and volunteers.

Software solutions are also key for converting volunteers into donors for a few reasons:

  • Software solutions allow nonprofits to create and manage digital profiles for volunteers and donors, keeping integral information in an organized database

  • Software solutions provide nonprofit organizations with a way to efficiently communicate with volunteers, giving organizations opportunities to ask for donations

  • Software solutions help provide a smoother volunteer experience, encouraging volunteers to continue engaging with your nonprofit

  • Software solutions with apps allow volunteers to start donating with the press of a button, making it far easier for volunteers to become donors

  • Software solutions help nonprofits track important metrics and analyze trends to see what adjustments they need to make to increase donations

Browse the top volunteer management software solutions and see which solution will best suit your nonprofit’s needs.

While there are many great features available with volunteer management software and donor management software, your best option for a software solution will be one that allows you to integrate your volunteer and donor management databases.

Using one of the volunteer management software solutions that integrates with donor management resources like Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT will help you track the percentage of your volunteers who become donors, provide data about donation habits of volunteers and which volunteers to target for donations, and create joint profiles with volunteer and donor information to help you track engagement, donation history, communication preferences, and more.

Traditional methods simply can’t measure up to software solutions anymore. If you want to turn volunteers into donors, consider using volunteer management software that will integrate with a donor management platform.

Make a small ask

Times are tight. Your volunteers may not be able to afford to give as much as they would like to your organization.

It is important that your nonprofit shows volunteers that donations of any size are valued. It is far better to have several small donations from volunteers than to have volunteers who shy away from donating at all because they don’t have the financial means to make large contributions.

This is where small-dollar donation campaigns like Civic Champ’s Micro-Donations can come in handy. This tool allows nonprofit organizations to automate small donation requests to volunteers at the perfect moment, helping streamline the volunteer-to-donor pipeline.

Regardless of the resources you use to make these donation asks, being able to solicit smaller donations will yield better results for your organization and turn more volunteers into donors.

Provide flexibility

With inflation rates soaring and the cost of living taking a toll on many families, giving to nonprofit organizations can be a heavy financial burden.

For many families, charitable giving is one of the first things to go when money gets tight, even though they may wish that they could continue donating to organizations they support.

One way for nonprofit organizations to prevent volunteers from stopping their donations is to allow for flexibility when donating.

Fintech solutions like Givezy provide flexibility for donors through a Give Now, Pay Later donation platform. Give Now, Pay Later eases the financial burden on donors by allowing them to donate money to the causes they support and make interest-free payments on donations in the future without any extra fees.

This encourages volunteers to donate by showing them that they can make a financial impact even with a tight budget.

Treat volunteers like donors

If you want your volunteers to become donors, treat them like you treat your existing donors. Don’t let your volunteers slip through the cracks, and be sure to engage your volunteers consistently.

For example, if you send newsletters to donors detailing ways your nonprofit is making a positive difference in the community, send these newsletters to volunteers, too. This way, volunteers will see how much more of an impact they can make if they start contributing to your organization financially. Consider creating a section in your newsletter that highlights the impact of small-dollar contributions and the tangible ways in which they are positively impacting your cause.

Keep your volunteers engaged with your organization and help them feel as connected to your organization as your donors.

Provide the best possible volunteer experience

Volunteers who have a difficult time scheduling themselves for event shifts, sharing background check information, or completing your training and onboarding process are going to grow frustrated with your organization.

This will not only decrease the likelihood that they will donate to your organization, but it will also make it less likely for them to continue volunteering with your nonprofit.

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