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 service delivery to your beneficiaries! Since the onset of COVID-19 and in the wake of nonprofits having to let go of so many of their regular staff members, volunteers have been especially critical for ensuring that nonprofits can still achieve their critical missions.
Below are 5 reasons why nonprofit volunteers are essential for day-to-day operations and growth.
Having volunteers complete a task or project 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 care about any of that.
Plus, volunteers are often willing to work at times when employees would be receiving paid time off. Such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity primarily rely on volunteers to build homes, saving millions of dollars in operational costs every single year for the organization.
In addition to saving money for your nonprofit, volunteers are actually excellent prospective donor targets! Turning volunteers into donors is actually often a much easier task than one would think. 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!
Type out volunteer thank-you emails after every event, 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.
Tracking all volunteer hours given to your organization is critical for certain grant proposals as well. This can ultimately lead to winning a grant and receiving significant funds for your nonprofit.
Many corporations also reward their employees who volunteer by donating to the nonprofit at which they volunteer. Double the Donation is an excellent resource for identifying which corporations give back to nonprofits in this way. Use the data to prioritize which companies to reach out to in your area for volunteers!
Think about it. If you recognize your volunteer publicly for their work, they will be motivated to share their positive volunteer experience with friends and family. This ‘peer-to-peer’ exposure increases the number of individuals who think about your nonprofit positively. It could also increase the number of volunteers wanting to work at your nonprofit. Moreover, it may also boost the number of donors wanting to give to your mission!
Social media is also a great way to thank volunteers publicly through tagging. Oftentimes, they are excited to re-share content from their specific volunteer day; also, the content in which they’re tagged – again, increasing visibility for your organization. Take photos and videos of your volunteers’ work on the ground, their interaction with your beneficiaries, and other activities. These can be great resources for social media and email marketing where you can highlight volunteers.
This article presents 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.
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. They can also participate in the Relay for Life, running to raise money for and fundraising on behalf of 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 can too multiply the impact in this way. It’s simple – your volunteers will create their own fundraising pages and raise funds from their personal networks. This helps boost your outreach, raise more funds, and acquire new donors. Since these people already know your organization well, more people are likely to trust you and make a donation.
With Donorbox, it’s as easy as toggling a switch and inviting your volunteers right from the tool. It’s highly automated and your invited volunteers will be guided on the tool to create and customize their peer campaigns for more effectiveness. Here’s a great example of a peer campaign you can refer to –
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 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. Something that otherwise may be impossible by your nonprofit’s staff alone.
Volunteers can also increase the quality of services that your nonprofit provides. Having these individuals working on the ground will help you ensure your beneficiaries are receiving the best possible support and level of attention. These people are coming forward to help you purely out of empathy and compassion; naturally, their kindness and passion for bringing a 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.
Volunteers can do everything from administrative and office work to youth work, direct beneficiary work, medical work, legal work, tech-based work, events, stewardship, and beyond. One of the greatest benefits is access to the wide range of skills they bring to the table.
Can’t afford an on-staff attorney to complete legal work for your immigration relief nonprofit? 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 a staff 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 such experience and affinity?
Oftentimes, corporations or law firms, for example, will support pro-bono work done by their staff members. Take advantage of this!
Need tips on how to attract and recruit the best volunteers? Look no further, here’s a Donorbox blog to help you excel at that.
Now that you know how important volunteers are for your nonprofit growth and success, it is time to find your volunteer superstars.
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.
Never underestimate the power of volunteers in your nonprofit! Investing time in recruiting, retaining, managing, stewarding, cultivating, and eventually, soliciting your volunteers will prove beneficial to 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. Read more about us on the website and learn about our features here.
Feel free to check out our Nonprofit Blog for tips and resources that will help you run your nonprofit better.