With a global pandemic, a plethora of activities have temporarily halted- movie releases have been postponed, sports seasons have been cancelled and students have been sent home to quarantine. Even so, nonprofits cannot put off their responsibilities and duties to those they serve. It is not always easy to request monetary donations from volunteers, especially after they have donated so much time to their nonprofit. However, this is a vital group that can sustain a nonprofit for years to come. Here are 7 tips on how to convert volunteers into donors during this uncertain time: 

1. Build a personal relationship with volunteers

Although this seems fairly obvious to those experienced in fundraising, it is arguably the most essential step in converting volunteers into donors. Having an established relationship not only makes volunteers more likely to donate but also increases their likelihood of continuing to donate.

2. Thank them for their work

Volunteers should be frequently and earnestly thanked for their contributions, whether it is through time, donations or monetary funding. This goes hand in hand with creating a personal relationship; this appreciation will have a ripple effect on the volunteers’ relationship with the nonprofit and the ways in which they will continue their support.

3. Recognize the struggle everyone is facing right now

It may feel inappropriate to reach out to new donors during a pandemic and state of economic turmoil. However, nonprofits need to approach people by first recognizing their individual hardships and concerns. In doing so, nonprofits can build trust and establish a level playing field among all volunteers. 

4. Offer support, resources and encouragement

It is vital that nonprofits value being able to support their volunteers in the same way that the volunteers support their nonprofits. Offering help may be as simple as checking in or offering aid. Nonprofit organizations could also share resources to help their volunteers find help or send out local events that could benefit them. If a nonprofit is able, they should see if they have resources of their own to offer their volunteers.

5. Tell volunteers what you’re doing during this time

It would be difficult to rally financial support if donors don’t know what their funds are going towards. Has their nonprofit begun a new program to combat the effects of the pandemic? Are they helping a new group of people or organization? This may better incentivize volunteers to donate when they know that their monetary donations are helping those who have been directly impacted by the pandemic (just as they have been).

Interested in what we’re doing here at Civic Champs? Check out our new initiative, Helping Hands.

6. Use technology to turn volunteers into donors

In order to request donations, nonprofits need an effective way to reach out to their volunteers. This could be through the utilization of a database or even good-old mail. Especially effective technology is now able to help with this process through the implementation of micro-donations that are presented to volunteers after they donate. 

If you’re interested in the technology detailed above, reach out to us here for more information.

7. Communicate on a person-to-person basis

Utilizing a singular, recognizable voice or persona when requesting funding is one of the best ways to reach out to volunteers. By making the connection more personal, nonprofits are essentially making eye contact with whomever they reach out to. The interaction is therefore more meaningful and allows the volunteers to understand just how important their individual contributions (monetary, time, etc.) are to their nonprofit.

Have any tips on how to convert volunteers into donors? Let us know! Email me at ashley@civicchamps.com

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