How to get your volunteers to fundraise for you
Monday, April 20, 2015
Although it may seem like our social media newsfeeds are constantly populated with new fundraising events to RSVP to or friends requesting donations, finding fundraisers is hard.
Finding good fundraisers is hard.
But, the good news is, your best fundraisers are a lot closer than you think.
Volunteers as fundraisers
Volunteers are your good cause’s best fundraising tools for several reasons:
- Peer-to-peer works – Statistics show that peer-to-peer fundraising is significantly more effective than causes fundraising for themselves. 1 in 4 solicitation emails from peer-to-peer fundraisers resulted in donations vs. 1 in 1,250 sent by the fundraising organizations themselves.
- An extra layer of trust – Experience has shown me peer-to-peer fundraising is even more effective when the person soliciting donations is also a volunteer at the organization. This fact provides an extra layer of donor trust and strengthens the peer-to-peer relationship because one friend is supporting a cause so close the other’s heart.
- Volunteers have time & expertise– Fundraising, even using online crowdsourcing tools, is time-consuming. Your volunteers are already committing time to you and will likely be willing to give a little more. On top of all that, they know your cause. They can talk it up better than anyone else.
Tips for getting your volunteers to fundraise for you
There are two different ways to get volunteers to fundraise for you; volunteers can assist staff in current fundraising efforts or use a peer-to-peer platform to raise funds on their own.
Current fundraising efforts
You can’t just rely on your volunteers and peer-to-peer fundraising. Nonprofits need to reach out to new donors via all forms of communication, research and apply for grants and find partners. Even if your volunteers are not professional writers or communicators, here are a few ways you can get them to help fundraise:
- Research upcoming grant opportunities
- Write and send thank you letters to donors
- Make phone calls to donors and potential donors
- Design fundraising materials
- Research potential corporate partners
Don’t just tell your volunteers to start peer-to-peer fundraising and then leave them on their own. It is up to you to turn them into fundraising rock stars.
- Give them a platform – Don’t make them search out their own fundraising pages. This is messy and unprofessional. Some fundraising platforms freeze assets or take a huge percentage of donations. From a marketing standpoint, it is a terrible idea to have unbranded donations pages. People aren’t going to give if they don’t trust the site or associate it with your brand.
- Provide training – Great fundraisers are made, not born. Provide annual or bi-annual training events to teach volunteers all the new tips, tricks and trends. If you can arrange it, have your star fundraisers speak about their successes.
- Give them tools – Even though you may have dozens of people fundraising for you, you want your brand message to be consistent. Provide volunteers with templates (that they should then personalize) for making the ask, saying “thank you” and crafting social media messages.
- Offer them your space – Let volunteers bring their friends, family and co-workers to your office for a tour. Seeing is believing. Many people will be swayed to give more when they see the hard work you and your team are doing in person.
Ready to start recruiting your volunteers to fundraise, but feel like you are lacking the tools? We would love to help.