Turning Volunteers into Donors: 4 Strategies

Your committed team of volunteers are some of your organization’s greatest advocates and supporters. While they donate their time and skills to your cause, they can also make generous monetary donations as well. It’s no surprise that volunteers can be turned into donors for your cause. However, it can be a balancing act to ensure you aren’t asking too much of your supporters. Since volunteers already invest in your nonprofit, turning volunteers into donors is a natural next step.

Fostering meaningful engagement with existing volunteers through good management, communications, and activities will deepen commitment to your cause. This increases the likelihood of converting them into donors along the way. That said, investing in an exceptional volunteer engagement strategy will set your organization up for long-term success.

In this article, we’ll share four powerful strategies you can adopt to help turn your volunteers into donors:

Donors and volunteers both invest their resources toward your cause. While a donor offers monetary support and a volunteer donates their time and effort, their motivations remain aligned. In fact, studies show that more than 67% of worldwide donors also choose to volunteer locally in their communities.

This provides encouragement to invite volunteers to deepen their investment in your cause—and strategically begin turning volunteers into donors. Now, let’s dive into how you can start converting volunteers into donors.

1. Provide clear opportunities to donate on your website

Your volunteers likely already engage with your website to review and sign up for new volunteer opportunities. This makes your website a great tool to encourage volunteers to consider donating money to your cause as well.

Optimizing your nonprofit website doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are a few simple ways to encourage your volunteers to donate:

  • Add donation buttons throughout your website, especially on your volunteer webpage.
  • Share stories or examples of how donations make a difference for your constituents. This can be a simple quote, statistic, or even an impact story.
  • Make the donation process simple with online forms embedded directly on your website.

The clearer your website communicates, the more volunteers will interact with it. A user-friendly website that offers your audience everything they are looking for increases your online presence in the long run.

Luckily, there are so many nonprofits already using these tactics on their websites. It helps to look around and take inspiration from other nonprofit websites to get you started on the right path.

2. Share your mission and nonprofit story with volunteers

The importance of storytelling is one of the greatest strategies to draw people toward your cause and mission. Consider that your volunteers likely understand how their time and effort help make a difference. But they might not know about all the initiatives and programs your organization offers your community!

That is where storytelling can fill the gaps and inspire more people to take action. Whether it’s a monthly email or a weekly social media post—the more stories you tell, the more volunteers you will reach.

People want to know how their money impacts a cause—and being transparent helps goes a long way toward motivating volunteers to take the next step in their supporter journey.

3. Leverage corporate philanthropy to cultivate donors and volunteers

More businesses are adopting social responsibility initiatives which offer nonprofits a great opportunity to partner with businesses for both fundraising and corporate volunteering programs.

According to Investopedia:

“Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.”

Many corporations set targets like annual donations and corporate volunteer hours served as a part of their annual goals. This provides you the opportunity to bring in extra support through corporate gift matching and corporate volunteerism efforts. It also creates a natural space for turning volunteers into donors.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 84% of people are more likely to donate to your organization in the first place if their gift is matched.
  • 1 in 3 indicate that they would contribute a larger donation if their gift is match eligible.

As you can see, corporate giving is a great opportunity to bring in more investment from corporate donors and volunteers alike. If you are intentional about nurturing and turning volunteers into donors, even better!

4. Invest in donor and volunteer management tools

The better experience your donors and volunteers have with your organization, the more long-term support they will give. That’s why investing in the right tools to ensure an optimal experience is essential to encouraging more commitment and increasing donations.

Volunteer Management Software

Delivering an exceptional volunteer experience requires a lot of moving parts to come together, which is why many organizations invest in volunteer management software (also known as a VMS). A VMS offers managers the opportunity to build an exceptional volunteer experience from recruitment and scheduling to shift check-in and check-out while collecting important volunteer data along the way.

Nonprofit CRM

A nonprofit CRM offers managers the ability to track donor activities and interest in personalized communications to deliver truly meaningful engagements with your donors. A good CRM allows you to have in-depth visibility of all your donor data and allows you to filter and segment your data easily to create tailored campaigns.

Bringing them both together

By investing in both a nonprofit CRM and VMS, your organization can have a valuable pool of data that can be leveraged to deepen each group’s level of engagement with your organization. By integrating systems, you can share data between them and identify which volunteers to target with donation requests and which donors to target with volunteerism campaigns. This allows you to realize the full potential of your existing supporters by creating opportunities to turn volunteers into donors.

When you provide supporters with these opportunities, it not only grows your donor base—but, more importantly, creates deeper engagement and impact for your cause.

There are many ways to bring in more donations to your organization, but harnessing the untapped potential of volunteers and corporate partners offers your team a fantastic opportunity. Whether you decide to start with a simple donation button on your volunteer webpage or dive right into a fully integrated technology solution to make the most of all your donor and volunteer data, any step you take is a good step toward meeting and surpassing your goals.

This guest post was originally provided by InitLive and has been updated by the Virtuous Team.

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

See the Virtuous platform in action.  Schedule a call with our team for personalized answers and expert advice on transforming your nonprofit with donor management software.

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

If you know another nonprofit pro who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via Email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

The Responsive Maturity Model
5 Steps to More Personalized Donor Experiences
Get Responsive Fundraising Tips
Get updates delivered directly to your inbox.
Actionable tips and insights for personalizing donor engagement with responsive fundraising.
4 Ways to Organize your Volunteer Opportunities 

4 Ways to Organize your Volunteer Opportunities 

How do you currently organize opportunities for your volunteers? Is it via a sign-up sheet at your front desk? Perhaps it’s a weekly or monthly email requesting volunteers for upcoming…
A Guide to Volunteer Management Tools

A Guide to Volunteer Management Tools

Approximately 25% of the adult population in the United States volunteers, which means effective volunteer management is increasingly important for nonprofits. In fact, when you look at younger generations, that…
Mobilize Volunteers with Marketing Automation

Mobilize Volunteers with Marketing Automation

Nonprofit marketing automation has revolutionized how organizations are able to mobilize volunteers—providing new and innovative ways to engage and activate supporters. With automation, nonprofits can implement responsive principles to engage…

Grow generosity with Virtuous.

Virtuous is the responsive fundraising software platform proven to help nonprofit organizations increase generosity by serving all donors personally, no matter their gift size.

“Virtuous truly understands nonprofits and the importance of our mission. And their open access to data and built-in custom reports gave us access to the data we need.”
Todd Shinabarger
Chief Information Officer