Too many nonprofits expect their volunteers will automatically know what to do and how to raise money for their cause. But that is not the case. And equipping your volunteers for fundraising success can be accomplished in five simple steps.
1. Help Them Understand Your Mission
Are your volunteers steeped in your vision and your mission? Do they know what they’re trying to achieve? Every nonprofit needs a clear volunteer vision, with clear guidance about the purpose of volunteers and their role in helping to reach fundraising goals. The easiest thing to do is to add the fundraising guide to the volunteering section of your website. Also, you can create a specific group online where they can talk to each other, ask questions and share information.
2. Provide Resources to Share
Educate and empower your volunteers to use and share your organizational resources. For instance, when a potential donor asks one of your volunteers whom to contact about a specific program of your nonprofit, would your volunteer be able to share the correct answer? Give your volunteers a list of resources, answers to common questions, social media accounts, schedules of events and anything else they can use to help potential donors interact with your nonprofit.
3. Boost Your Organization’s Growth through Training
Equip volunteers with the training they need to become more effective. Sending your volunteers out without real knowledge of your work or guidance is a recipe for failure. When it comes to volunteers helping to grow your nonprofit and fundraise for your organization, do they know the right way to do so? They might come off as too pushy or boring and drive people away. But, with proper training, they can build relationships gradually, bring in more donors and secure more donations. Training can involve anything from how to talk to potential donors to knowing which resources to share. Take time for proper training and you will have far more efficient volunteers who will help you boost your nonprofit’s growth.
4. Give Them Stories to Tell
Storytelling is the core of fundraising, so make sure your volunteers have impactful and compelling stories to share. Provide them with stories of the work your nonprofit does, the difference you’re making and how donations make those goals a reality. These stories will help build their enthusiasm for your nonprofit and give them something to share with their audience.
5. Give Them Specific Jobs
To really achieve your fundraising goals, it’s not enough to say how much you’re hoping to raise and when. Instead, give your volunteers specific jobs such as contacting a list of previous donors to ask if they will be supporting your cause again this year, identifying a certain number of potential donors in their networks and contacting them, providing quotes to share in your weekly updates, thanking donors who’ve completed a gift and more.
Fundraising is critical for nonprofits. By incorporating volunteers into your fundraising strategy and equipping them properly, you can set your organization up for long-term fundraising success.
By Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS