Looking to grow your donor base? A fantastic place to start is to convert your Volunteers to Donors. According to Abila’s Donor Loyalty Study, 75% of those who volunteered say they are more likely to donate. That is an overwhelming statistic and one that nonprofits should leverage. Studies also show that volunteers donate 10 times more than non-volunteers.
So how do you convert volunteers to donors for your nonprofit? Here are five best practices to help you convert volunteers to donors.
Acknowledge Volunteers like you do Donors
Treat your volunteers right. They may not make monetary contributions. But the time that they donate to your nonprofit has a tangible monetary value. According to the Independent Sector, the value of Volunteer Time in 2019 was $ 25.43 per hour. So a volunteer who spends 10 hours with you, has made a contribution of over $ 250 to your nonprofit.
Are you telling your volunteers how much you appreciate their time and effort? Try and do that at as many opportunities as possible. If you can, try to quantify their activity into how much money or time they’ve saved your organization.
For example, “The supporters that you brought to the Annual Walkathon helped us raise an additional $ 5000 this year. This will help us serve another 100 people. Your time and effort helped make this possible!”
Track all volunteer activity
Do you track all volunteer hours diligently? Do you have reports that tell you how many hours a volunteer spent with you this year vs last year? Can you track volunteer retention rates?
Tracking each volunteer interaction gives you a better understanding of the volunteer’s engagement with your organization. And, if you don’t know how the volunteer helped, how can you appropriately thank them?
Tracking all the volunteer hours spent with your organization provide great statistics for grant requests too.
Acknowledge Volunteer Milestones
Tracking all volunteer hours lets you keep track of specific volunteer milestones. Set up simple acknowledgements or rewards for when volunteers complete specific hour-based or time-based milestones. For example, a volunteer reaches 50 hours this year or completes 3 years of volunteering with you. Reach out to the volunteer. Make a public gesture. Show them that you are aware of their effort and interest in your cause.
Give your volunteers opportunities to share their experiences
Give your volunteers easy ways for them to share their experience on social media. Use their experience quotes on your website, in a newsletter. Talk to your volunteers about why they do what they do. They can become great ambassadors for your cause. And that may inspire their friends to become donors to your nonprofit.
Ask your Volunteers
Finally, just get down and ask your volunteers for donations. Communication is key, whether it’s with volunteers or donors. According to the Institute for Fundraising, 8 out of 10 people donate after being asked to do so. Don’t assume that your volunteers know your cause and therefore will donate automatically. Maybe they don’t know that your organization needs the money; they may just know that you need volunteers. They may not even know the best or easiest way to donate.
So a simple , straight forward ask may suffice. Perhaps you could set up a way for volunteers to donate a small amount every month. Think of it as a SIP donation plan for volunteers. They could give you $ 10/20/50 every month. That may be easier for some volunteers.
Have you already converted some volunteers to donors? How did you do it? Do share your stories with us.