5 Reasons Why Volunteers Are Essential for Nonprofit Organizations

Volunteers can do an enormous amount of good for your organization, from saving your nonprofit a significant amount of money to increasing the quality of services you provide. During times of financial difficulty, volunteers are critical in ensuring that nonprofits achieve their missions. In this article, we’ll discuss five reasons why volunteers are essential for day-to-day operations and growth.

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5 Reasons Why Volunteers Are Essential for Nonprofit Organizations

Volunteers are essential for nonprofit organizations and do an enormous amount of good, from saving your nonprofit a significant amount of money to increasing the quality of service delivery to your beneficiaries. With nonprofits experiencing ongoing staffing issues, volunteers have been especially critical for ensuring organizations can still achieve their critical missions.

Below are five reasons why nonprofit volunteers are essential for day-to-day operations and growth.

1. Volunteers Save Money and Increase Donations

Creating volunteer opportunities within your organization can save your nonprofit thousands of dollars. Think about the cost of employing one individual for full-time or part-time work. Add the cost of paying for that individual’s insurance benefits! With volunteers, you don’t have to factor in any of those costs.

In addition to saving money for your nonprofit, volunteers are excellent prospective donor targets! Turning volunteers into donors is a much easier task than getting someone who isn’t familiar with your organization to donate. An individual who’d give away their time and physical effort to support a nonprofit is likely invested enough to become a donor one day, as well. To convince a volunteer to become a donor, acknowledge them like they are a donor!

Send thank-you emails after all volunteer opportunities, small or big! Reward them for their efforts. Put up social media posts acknowledging their work. These are all simple ways to build a lasting relationship with volunteers.

Turning your volunteers into donors has never been easier with Donorbox’s native integration with POINT, a volunteer management tool. With this integration, easily embed your donation form right on your POINT organization page, making it easy for them to give as they access their volunteer information. Learn more in this blog!

Screenshot shows the Donorbox + POINT integration in action, with a Donorbox donation form on a POINT organization page.

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2. Your Volunteers Can Help Boost Visibility

Every volunteer who assists you has their own network. When they show off their passions for your organization, their network is more likely to take an interest in your work and get involved, too!

A great way to connect with your volunteers’ friends and family is to show some public appreciation! Tag them in your social media posts (with permission, of course!) to thank them for their dedication. Tell their story and highlight the real impact they’ve made on your organization. Encourage them to share your posts on their own social media to help spread the word about your volunteer opportunities.

Show some appreciation: This article gives you 30 ways to thank and appreciate your volunteers. Some of these ideas can be an excellent way to boost your organization’s outreach as well!

3. Volunteers Can be Turned into Advocates of Your Cause

Think about the difference volunteers make at fundraising and program-related events. Organizations like the American Cancer Society rely heavily on volunteers for their signature fundraising event, Relay for Life. Relay volunteers help with logistics and join in on the fun, running to raise money for the American Cancer Society. These volunteer efforts will result in more money raised, and therefore, more beneficiaries served by your nonprofit.

Have your volunteers raise money and advocate for your cause with peer-to-peer campaigns. Like the American Cancer Society, you too can multiply your impact this way.

With Donorbox Peer-to-Peer, it’s as easy as toggling a switch and either inviting your supporters right from your account or allowing anyone to sign up to fundraise on your behalf. They’ll receive an email with instructions to create their own donation page. Any donations they collect will automatically flow back to your account, making the process smooth!

This organization made it easy for anyone to sign up on their behalf with a button right on their donation page. They also have crowdfunding

Example of an organization using Donorbox Peer-to-Peer.

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4. Nonprofit Volunteers Can Increase The Impact

More individuals helping out means more opportunities to scale your programs! Enlisting the support of volunteers, whether in the office or on the ground, can help your organization build its capacity and allow your nonprofit to check off a larger array of tasks. They can help you reach out to more beneficiaries, interact with them, and bring in fresher perspectives.

Volunteer opportunities can also increase the quality of services that your nonprofit provides. Having these individuals working on the ground will help you ensure your beneficiaries receive the best possible support and attention. These people are coming forward to help you purely out of empathy and compassion; naturally, their kindness and passion for bringing change can skyrocket your impact like nothing else.

Imagine you want to offer a new, specific kind of service to your beneficiaries. But you don’t have enough full-time staff members to do so. That’s where volunteers come in! The more of these people you have and the more motivated they feel, the better your chances of success as a nonprofit.

5. Volunteers Bring a Diversity of Skills to Your Organization

Volunteers can do everything from administrative and office work to youth work, direct beneficiary work, medical work, legal work, tech-based work, events, stewardship, volunteering on your board of directors, and beyond. One of the greatest benefits is access to the wide range of skills they bring.

Can’t afford an on-staff attorney to help you with a legal filing? Look for a volunteer!

Need more nurses or doctors on the ground working for your healthcare or medical support nonprofit? Reach out to local hospitals and medical centers to find staff members who would be willing to contribute a few hours of their time.

Holding a church event that requires skilled people to take care of community kids for a couple of hours? Why not turn to volunteers with experience in this area?

Oftentimes, corporations or law firms, for example, will support pro-bono work done by their staff members. Take advantage of this by providing the right volunteer opportunities for these kinds of volunteers.

Did you know that corporate giving programs can help you retain donors? It’s true! With programs like team volunteer grants and dollars for doers, companies encourage their employees to volunteer at their favorite organizations. And when donors volunteer, they see a different side of your organization, allowing them to build stronger connections to your cause.

Pro tip: If your organization doesn’t take advantage of corporate volunteer programs, it’s time to! These groups can make a big difference in a short amount of time.

Find the Best Volunteers for Your Nonprofit

Now that you know how important volunteers are for your nonprofit growth and success, it is time to find your volunteer superstars. Whether you’re leveraging volunteers to assist in a service project or a specifically designed volunteer program, finding the right people will be critical to your success.

Here’s a Donorbox webinar on finding your next 20 volunteer superstars with free tools and smart strategies. In conversation with Tobi Johnson, an internationally sought-after expert and master trainer in volunteer management, we discuss how you can attract a committed fan base to your cause.

Bonus Resource: Once you find these exemplary volunteers, it’s just as important to retain them by keeping them engaged and active in your organization. Check out these volunteer retention ideas to get started!

Over to You

Never underestimate the power of volunteers in your nonprofit! Investing time in recruiting, retaining, managing, stewarding, cultivating, and eventually, soliciting your volunteers will benefit your nonprofit in the long run.

Your nonprofit’s volunteers may be the difference between you serving 50 vs. 500 beneficiaries, or your nonprofit raising $500 vs. $5,000. It can be the difference between meeting the needs of just a few in need and meeting the needs of thousands.

With simple-to-use and affordable fundraising features such as Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer, Memberships, Events, Text-to-Give, Recurring Donation Forms, and more, Donorbox is always there for you and your volunteer superstars. Learn about all of our comprehensive features here.

Feel free to check out our Nonprofit Blog for tips and resources that will help you run your nonprofit better, and subscribe to our newsletter to receive a curated collection of blogs in your inbox every month!

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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