Strategies to Transform Volunteers into Donors

give backAccording the Independent Sector, 42% of adults both give and volunteer to nonprofit organizations, as compared to merely 2% of adults who report only volunteering with nonprofit organizations.1 Further, research shows that on average, households that volunteer give twice as much to nonprofits, as household that do not volunteer.1   

With the national data showing volunteers are likely to also make a financial donation, and at higher levels than non-volunteers, check out these strategies to transform your organization’s volunteers into donors:

Collaborate Internally
Create collaboration between the volunteer and development departments in your nonprofit. Meet regularly to discuss the organization’s fundraising plan and develop a strategy to coordinate solicitations to volunteers.

Provide Comprehensive Volunteer Orientation
Educate your volunteers on your organization’s mission and vision. A comprehensive orientation allows volunteers to understand the issues your organization is addressing and all the ways they can contribute to helping the organization realize its mission.

Know Your Volunteers
Know your volunteers by collecting important information about their employment status, family circumstances, education, community contacts and where their interests intersect with your organization. Maintain this information in a database shared by both the volunteer and development departments.

Implement Peer Screening
Peer screening can be an effective tool to grow your donor base. Establish a peer screening panel to provide insights on donor prospects who are currently volunteering with your organization. To implement peer screening, provide a list of volunteers to the peer screening panel and ask them to rate how well they know them, identify a potential capacity to give, and share additional comments. Learn more on establishing a peer screening program.

Ask Them
The number one reason individuals donate to a nonprofit is they are asked. While honoring and thanking your volunteers, remember to invite them to participate financially in supporting your mission.

Your organization’s volunteers are engaged in carrying out your mission, and they are your organization’s best prospects for future donors. By taking intentional steps, your nonprofit can transform your volunteers into donors financially supporting your mission.

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1 Independent Sector. (2001). Giving and Volunteering in the United States. Retrieved from

About Dr. Sarah Wolin Mackey

Putting theory into practice at nonprofit organizations.
This entry was posted in Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Volunteer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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