If one of your goals for 2013 is to grow your nonprofit’s donor base, there are plenty of techniques that might work. You could try expanding your marketing efforts to engage more people in your organization’s mission and work. You might try accelerating your activity on social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. You could also sponsor an event to raise money and increase awareness.
Still, there is one source of donations that you might be overlooking – even though it’s right in front of your eyes. Who are these potential donors? They’re the same people organizing the annual auction or driving senior clients to doctor’s appointments. Perhaps you’ll find them loading delivery vans or working in your organization’s thrift store. These potential donors are your current volunteers.
At least two studies in recent years have highlighted the connection between volunteering for and donating to an organization:
Another notable finding: In general, the more time those individuals spent volunteering, the more they gave in overall donations. Those who volunteered more than 100 hours gave about twice as much ($78,000) as those who volunteered fewer than 100 hours ($39,000). Still another trend: a higher percentage of wealthy Americans are contributing to the organizations where they also volunteer. The Bank of America study found that these folks are more focused in their giving. They also are more committed financially when they are involved on a personal level with an organization they believe in – and for those who donate and volunteer, the size of their average gift grew by 40% between 2009 and 2011.
Your nonprofit’s volunteers are primed for giving donations. They have already demonstrated a commitment to the organization. They believe in the mission and the work – or they wouldn’t be giving their time, talent and energy.
It’s also true that like nearly everyone in this era of economic recovery, volunteers are carefully choosing where to give their money. When they know their donations of time and money are being utilized wisely and for a cause they believe in, they are more likely to give.
It’s clear that your pool of volunteers can be among your nonprofit’s biggest supporters. Here are five ways to increase the number of volunteers – and potential donors – for your organization:
It’s a simple formula: The more volunteers you have, the more potential donors you have. It may seem like asking too much to solicit donations from volunteers, but studies show that your volunteers are already more inclined to give much more than those who don’t volunteer.
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