A Great Idea: Involve Volunteers in Fundraising

Engage your volunteers in fundraisingEditor’s Note: The following post by Martin J. Cowling, founder and CEO of People First – Total Solutions, originally appeared in his newsletter. Thanks, Martin, for letting us share it here!

Guest post by Martin J. Cowling

Many agencies do not factor their volunteers into their fundraising efforts. In fact, there is some embarassment and reluctance to ask volunteers to be financial supporters. This is a poor strategy: volunteers are already committed to the cause. Research shows that volunteers will donate – especially if they have a positive volunteering experience.

  1. Plan to include your volunteers in fundraising.
  2. Educate your volunteers about your cause regularly.
  3. Provide your volunteers with financial information so they know what your agency needs.
  4. Automatically include volunteers on the fundraising database, but give them the opportunity to opt out.
  5. Ask your volunteers to be involved either by donating funds directly, asking their friends to support the cause, or being involved in fundraising events
  6. Give them a chance to opt out of fundraising and respect their choice. If they say “no”, dont hound them.
  7. Highlight volunteers who have been successful in fundraising efforts, but don’t alienate uninvolved volunteers.
  8. Share tools with volunteers; e.g. invite them to link to a campaign on facebook. Make sure every volunteer has donation forms.
  9. Keep them updated on the fundraising goals.
  10. Involve them with the evaluation of  fundraising.

Martin J. Cowling is founder and CEO of People First – Total Solutions, a nonprofit consulting group that assists organizations in mobilizing their people. To learn more, connect on Facebook.

(Photo: CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm, by Buddy Baum)