A successful nonprofit has many players, all performing different functions and at varying levels of commitment. Whether it’s a full-time staff member or a board member, every person involved with a nonprofit brings a certain passion and dedication to the cause at hand—and volunteers are no exception. In fact, volunteers may bring even more passion to your organization’s mission than full-time staff members. They are doing all their work for free, after all!
But it’s not just about the free work that volunteers provide. They’re also invaluable fundraisers and advocates if you give them the right tools and resources. Cultivating volunteers is part art, part science, and while there are proven methods nonprofits use to inspire and train volunteers, it takes insightful leadership to spot volunteers who are most excited about taking the next step. Given the right encouragement, many volunteers will be ready and willing to engage their own community to raise money and awareness for you through a fundraising campaign of their own.
Because they live and work in networks outside of your nonprofit, volunteers are a gold mine when it comes to expanding your brand and getting your story out into the world. Passionate about your mission, they may be willing to use their social ties to help you achieve your goals or increase peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. Depending on the enthusiasm and social community a volunteer has, the possibilities for their own nonprofit fundraising efforts are endless. Here are three examples of how you can empower your volunteers to spread awareness of your mission and boost your fundraising efforts:
1. Volunteer-driven social media campaign
Most of your volunteers are already active on social media. Because Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are likely already part of your marketing strategy, your volunteers’ friends will naturally see their posts about your nonprofit. And when it comes to motivating your fundraising volunteers, engaging with your supporters on social media is a great way to encourage them to advocate for your cause. Incentivize them with swag (t-shirts, water bottles, stickers, etc.) and send them a shoutout on your blog and website to encourage even more involvement.
2. Volunteer-led event
One great way to turn volunteers into effective fundraising leaders is to allow them to host their own events. Competitions and “thons” (like a walk-a-thon) are natural choices because both can be organized quickly and without a lot of money or background experience. Encourage volunteers to come up with their own creative ideas and facilitate the process so their idea will be sure to be a smash hit.
3. Volunteer teams for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign
Online fundraising doesn’t have to be solely your burden to bear. Set up a crowdfunding site and team pages to put the power in the hands of your dedicated volunteers. You can do this using a good online peer-to-peer platform. Peer-to-peer fundraising pages that are integrated with social media make it easy for your advocates to drum up support on your behalf. And when they automatically sync with your donor database, raising awareness and funds will be seamless.
By giving your volunteers a little more responsibility, the spark of dedication they have for your nonprofit can be fanned into a full flame. Don’t take on all of the responsibilities of online fundraising yourself – empower volunteers to become powerful advocates and supercharge your success.
Looking for more on planning and executing your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign? We’ve put together the most up-to-date peer-to-peer and crowdfunding resources to help you get started.
Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.