Have you ever wondered where you can find a group of passionate donors who share your vision? The answer lies right within your very own volunteer base. These incredible individuals, who are already committed to your cause, hold the key to unlocking the donations your nonprofit needs to thrive.
Finding and engaging new donors is one of the toughest challenges nonprofits face today. The urgency to secure the donations necessary for your nonprofit’s success is evident, but the challenge isn’t impossible.
We’ll explore a new solution to an existing problem by leveraging the power of your own volunteer base. Within this dedicated group of supporters, you can identify and transform them into your most enthusiastic donors, furthering your mission and ensuring the long-term sustainability of your nonprofit. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Why focus on volunteers?
Engaged volunteers that have hands-on involvement with a nonprofit develop a deep emotional connection. That’s because when people engage in a positive physical experience, our brains release neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins that create a strong emotional connection and sense of happiness. This chemical response deepens our sense of meaning, fosters empathy, and strengthens the neural pathways associated with the experience, resulting in a strong, lasting bond.
The secret to unlocking the full potential of volunteers lies in their active participation. They directly witness the impact of their contribution of time, which can inspire them to further that impact and become donors.
Research supports the notion that engaged volunteers are highly likely to become committed donors with 50% of volunteers stating that their experiences have led them to give more financial support. In fact, volunteers donate an average of 10 times more money to charities compared to non-volunteers.
Actionable steps to convert your volunteers into donors
By tapping into the strong connection of engaged volunteers, nonprofits have an opportunity to cross-cultivate them into super supporters – a person who generously gives both time and money.
Here are the steps you can take to turn your volunteers into donors and create your own community of super supporters.
Step 1: Identify and group your most engaged volunteers
Identify volunteers who consistently demonstrate commitment and active involvement. Create a Group (or “segment”) of these volunteers that you can use to send them targeted communications. While a spreadsheet can be used, best-in-class nonprofits use a relationship management system because it saves time and delivers instant insights and reporting not found in a spreadsheet. Relationship management systems also offer centralized data management, segmentation, and communication features. If you find yourself spending more than four hours per month on volunteer management tasks, it may be worthwhile to explore how a relationship management solution can streamline your operations.
Turn Volunteers into Donors with Bloomerang
Step 2: Nurture the relationship and showcase their impact
Fostering strong relationships with engaged volunteers requires personalized communications that express gratitude. Regular impact updates are important for creating a sense of connection, appreciation and purpose. Demonstrating the tangible impact of their work reinforces their sense of purpose, and builds trust, leading to emotional connection and increased retention.
Step 3: Create a targeted appeal campaign and provide giving options
Create a compelling campaign specifically tailored to the engaged volunteer segment that makes the “ask” for their financial support. Showcase the direct connection between their volunteer efforts and the need for financial resources to sustain and expand the organization’s programs and initiatives. Present a clear and compelling call-to-action that gives them multiple ways to donate. Emphasize that their financial support will amplify the impact they have already made as volunteers, reinforcing their vital role in the organization’s success.
Step 4: Activate and empower your super supporters
Identify and prioritize individuals who consistently demonstrate exceptional dedication, passion and commitment. Provide them with personalized communication, exclusive updates and special recognition. Empower them to become ambassadors for your cause, sharing their experiences and expanding your reach. Seek their feedback, involve them in decision-making and cultivate a sense of ownership. By nurturing these super supporters, you tap into their influential role as ambassadors, amplifying awareness and attracting new supporters to further your organization’s impact.
It’s time to unlock the potential of your volunteers and invite them to become donors. These extraordinary individuals have the power to create a profound impact on your cause, and letting their untapped potential go to waste is leaving money on the table.
Super supporters can be a transformative force that brings about positive change. So embrace their passion, ignite their spirits and let your super supporters fuel your mission so you can make an exponential difference in the lives of those you serve.