Not enough time in your day? Consider volunteers!

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about effectively using volunteers in your fundraising efforts.  It’s an interesting topic for me lately, especially as my prospect list grows, more and more donor events are established, and goals are increasing.  At the same time, I’m quickly running out of available hours in the day to get it all done.

Don’t get me wrong – I like new projects!  I like getting out to meet new people!  So much can be accomplished if we only had MORE TIME!!

Since I can’t clone myself, why not consider using volunteers?  We have two advisory boards, so actually we already have volunteers.  They volunteer their time to attend the board meetings, give advice, and even talk about us in the community.  That’s a good start, but what else could volunteers help with?  Could volunteers also take on fundraising?

In my quest to understand this topic better I came across some noteworthy thoughts:

  • Fundraising hasn’t always been a profession – it used to be done exclusively by volunteers!
  • People volunteer because they believe in the cause and want to get involved.
  • Volunteers are seen as a peer, as a fellow supporter.
  • Volunteers have no financial self-interest in the donation – they are naturally authentic and credible.
  • Donors respond to people who display genuine enthusiasm and passion for the mission – and anyone who volunteers generally has these qualities already.

Now that I’m convinced that volunteers can be helpful in fundraising, what tasks could I have them help with?  Creating a menu of volunteer opportunities is a great idea.  It could include various options and levels of time commitments.  This makes it easy for those who want to help to find what works for them and their schedule.  Here are just a few good ideas that could work for you:

  • Talk to students about why they give
  • Host a donor social
  • Sign appeal letters
  • Bring friends to tour campus
  • Make thank you calls to donors
  • Promote the organization through social media
  • Spearhead an alumni chapter

We’re just beginning to use volunteers in our fundraising efforts.  If you have other ideas that have worked for you, please leave a comment below.


About dknotek2015

I am a Development Director for the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having worked in the Development and Alumni Relations Department for the past eight years, I have a unique background in development, philanthropy, and relationship building. I am a University of Nevada, Reno alum as well as a current MBA candidate. You could say I am silver and blue through and through! I am passionate about helping others. I understand how important education is to our local community, the nation, and the world. I remember struggling as a student to finish my own education, and how grateful I was when I received support through the generosity of others. As a professional, I excel at securing private donations which support the students, faculty, programs, and research of the College of Science. I am uniquely qualified to bring potential donors together with areas about which they are passionate and feel compelled to support.
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One Response to Not enough time in your day? Consider volunteers!

  1. Pingback: The post that made me stop and think! | Developing Dedicated Donors

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