6 Tips for Converting Event Volunteers into Effective Fundraisers

The following is a guest post by our friends at Event 360, which provides fundraising consulting, technology and event production services for nonprofits. Whether you need to improve an existing event fundraising program or create an entirely new mission experience, their event fundraising professionals can help.

Guest post by Sarah Coniglio, Event 360Event 360

Are you reluctant to approach your special event volunteers about fundraising? Do you attend the school of thought that volunteers donate their time (not money) and that asking them to fundraise is too much? If so, your organization is missing out on a significant revenue opportunity. An opportunity that the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure series of events chose not to miss.

In 2009, the Komen 3-Day for the Cure all-volunteer crew raised over $1.2 million for a world without breast cancer.  Over 5,400 active crew members contributed to that number, but imagine if Komen hadn’t asked these volunteers to fundraise in the first place?

The fundamental key to volunteer fundraising is that you have to ask. For many organizations, this means letting go of your apprehension and simply asking your event volunteers to fundraise. To do this, you need to provide specific instructions to your volunteers to help turn them into successful fundraisers.

For example, instead of asking volunteers to “raise money,” ask “Will you ask ten of your friends to donate to you?” This also means that volunteers need to be equipped with training and tools to improve their skill in asking others for support on your behalf. And technology can help—most event fundraising software typically provides a participant center with tools that make this easier.

There are several additional ways to engage and encourage fundraising, including:

  1. Bring It Back to the Cause – Many volunteers are involved in an organization because they have a connection to the cause. When asking them to fundraise, give them the facts about how their dollars will contribute to the goals of the organization. When volunteers are armed with the facts, it is easier for them to explain to their potential donors how their contribution will truly make a difference.
  2. Let the Peers Model the Way – Engage your captains and team leaders first and ask them to begin fundraising and be advocates for their teams’ fundraising efforts. Once a volunteer sees that their leader can do it, they’ll be more apt to start themselves.   There is great strength in peer leadership – encourage it!
  3. Get Competitive – Everyone can be at least a little bit competitive by nature. Leverage that. Share the results of individual and team fundraising efforts with the entire volunteer base. There’s nothing like a little bit of acknowledgement and encouragement to beat that highest fundraiser! You’d be surprised at how a little competition can go a long way.
  4. Give Them the Tools – Do you have a Facebook widget or are you setting up other participants in your organization with personal fundraising pages? Well, share those with your volunteers, too! The more tools you can provide to the volunteers, the easier it will be for them to engage and be successful in their fundraising efforts.
  5. Make a Well-Articulated “Ask” – Create an “ask” that is specific, concise, tailored to a defined outcome, and hard to refuse! On one recent project we were able to significantly increase the number of emails that volunteers sent to their donors simply by making sure we asked the right question.
  6. Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your New Volunteers — During an event your volunteers serve as your voice, your reach, and are essential in accomplishing your goals and mission. Create a formal onboarding program for your volunteers and give them the same care you would a new staff member.

Take a little time to think and plan for how you can engage your volunteers and how they, too, can become some of your best fundraisers. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how these steps can go a long way.

For more tips on converting event volunteers into fundraisers, visit the Event Fundraising Blog at www.event360.com/blog.

Sarah Coniglio has been working in the event fundraising industry for over 10 years and specializes in volunteer operations and event production. She’s currently the Director of Production at Event 360 where she oversees the planning and volunteer operations for the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure event series in 15 cities across the country.

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  1. Call for Solidarity – faith – humanity – global goodwill and brotherhood!

    Humanitarian initiatives and projects – for a better and more just world!

    Vasile Grigoras
    Humanitarian Project Initiator

    Dear friends, brothers and sisters, good world,

    With your permission considerations friendly write with confidence and hope about the proposal, my project and humanitarian initiative, inspired by the suffering caused by the abuse of justice in Romania u hit me and against which I reacted. At the age of 59 years, is a man of good faith, modest and honest love and respect for people and with kindness in your soul. Since 2005 I suffered / suffer due to injustice and can not stand high when they know that other people suffer from the same cause. In my view, not only for myself but for others it is a militant and I can not accept to be violated my rights and the others. Me and her abuse and poor people have the right to life, safety and should not to let us violate some fundamental citizen rights, as happened in my case, when abuses have caused me great difficulty and now my life is in danger. Unfortunately the number of people in need because of abuse and poverty, is becoming greater, and existing organizations can not cope with demand. After what happened to me, I can not be indifferent when they see / hear you are harming other people mocked even by those who have to do justice in this country, corrupt magistrates who have to say stop abuse. I know it is difficult but not impossible for me and others in similar situations to fight for our rights ourselves against serious abuses, which often are caused by the mafia groups hard to beat. Although I was and threatened to fight to defend my rights as I have meditated much on the intalmpate and we concluded that we must set up an organization that will be called the Christian Foundation of St. Basil the Great “in the field of activity: protection of rights human rights and combating poverty at national and international level. To this foundation we have developed a humanitarian project inspired by my suffering and other people who got in trouble because of abuse and poverty. The project supports people abused, poor, ill with various serious chronic diseases, including mental and disabled, many of whom are marginalized and even risk. Together with people of good will want to build a new world, better and more just, that dignity is always respected. We work capacity and desire for this, but above all we must overcome two obstacles to carry out the humanitarian project. I will involve the responsibility for my interest in this world is to do well in any inprejurare those in need and to promote human values: faith, humanity, solidarity and charity. This humanitarian initiative gives unceasing search partners, sponsors, donors, friends and representatives everywhere for your support and hope to be among them, please you very much.

    “We must do what we can to help wherever and whenever possible to help others.” – Jackie Chan

    I am determined to devote my entire activity of this age and how I’m living for disadvantaged people live in suffering and whose cry for help is heard. High among the abused mother fighting for justice, honesty and truth. Since 2005 I have been violated and if we were / are harassed and mocked by people who have no acting against my person, but because they are favored by judges who are in league with hardly can be beaten, but not impossible. Incorruptible professionals need to hire lawyers for legal defense, but they demand high fees and are helpless in this moment when we have exhausted all resources because of these abuses. Through this letter I ask people of good faith regardless of: status, title, nationality, age, sex or religion who understand or know how to suffer people who will not let me spoil the octopus. In the spirit of solidarity, of faith, humanity and friendship, wisdom and good will appeal to you with confidence for their support, encouragement and perhaps a drop of hope. Please join this initiative / project and together we can change for the better life brothers and sisters living unimaginable tragedy and those responsible must give them a lesson in justice, honesty and truth, not to reproach people who causes suffering. We pray and hope in your gesture of generosity directly or indirectly, as a small matter to me much and I’d like to think that you’ll consider this appeal honest and common sense. Me and her have the right to life and dignity. I need a good deed how small, when I’m ridiculed, humiliated and threatened at this age (59 years) and when the hardships of force majeure, and left without resources because of the abuse on the shore I feel about a large chasms now I can not make public details about this abuse because I was threatened, but I do disclosures as soon as I established the Foundation. I am not afraid because I have in heart and soul and I hope the good Lord to find supporters who will help me go further ahead you will, to live in peace and peace with dignity and can fight for a just cause for others abused, poor at risk. Details of the proposal, the initiative and find my project sites: http://www.initiativa-umanitara.com / http://www.farasperanta.ro that will invite you to visit them with confidence and if you’ll appreciate this project born out of suffering, please I really like to contact one of the e-mail below. In closing, I wish you health, peace of mind, success in work and all the best for you and familie.Va thank you for your time spent reading this letter call common sense. God bless!
    With best wishes,
    Vasile Grigoras,
    Tel: 0040723979688
    E-mail: contact@initiativa-umanitara.com