Laura's Blog

Laura's Blog


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Donors as Volunteers

Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 8:52:00 AM - Written by Laura Cootsona
I am often asked to help an organization find donors. I am quick to confess that I have no secret rolodex in my back pocket. No secret list of "friends" eager to give when I call. Usually our best donors are close in already. We just need to identify them. In fact, many of our best donors start as volunteers.

The next question, of course, is "Can you help me get more volunteers?" This blog is too brief to discuss an advanced strategy for marketing for and recruiting volunteers. But, I will make a few suggestions:

1. You need to think about what parts of your organization's life could be enhanced by volunteer labor. And the answer to that dilemma is not: everywhere! You need to be specific, time bound, and descriptive of the person you need and the job that needs to be filled.

2.  Start small. A volunteer can do something meaningful without extensive training, a long term commitment or a uniform. A volunteer can be a sounding board, a shopper, a deliverer, a proof reader, a flower planter or a committee member.

3.  Think strategically. Do you have an ideal donor you'd love to woo to your organization? Find someone who knows them that loves you and then think about how they might get involved. A work day at your housing facility? An auction with a great speaker? A short term strategic task force where her insight could be just what you need?

Trust me. Volunteers often turn into our most loyal donors!