Do this one thing this week.
Find a loyal volunteer who you know has the capacity to give a substantial gift to your organization, and sit with them and ask them “why?”
Why do they choose to spend time at your organization, rather than use that time some other way?
Ask them. It will be enlightening, believe me.
What you will find is a human being who so believes in what you’re doing that they’ve committed their most valuable asset to you on a regular basis. This is no small decision. It takes a great deal of effort to carve out that time and then put up with all the bureaucracy of your place with very little or no gratitude coming their way.
Yet they do it. Week in and week out. It’s an amazing thing – truly amazing.
I have to admit that it would be difficult for me to do. Maybe I know too much. Or I’m high-maintenance. Who knows? But I know what it feels like to give and not be appreciated. Sure, toss a thank you at me here and there, but I know I’m just a cog in your machine delivering real value with the labor I provide. And at some level it hurts me. Yet I keep doing it.
Why? Because I really believe in what you’re doing. And I want to make it happen.
This is what is so interesting – that many non-profits have all of this banked goodwill, but they don’t steward it as they should.
Fidelity Charitable found that 87 percent of volunteers say there is a relationship between their volunteer behavior and the causes they support financially. They say that 79 percent of donors volunteer for a charitable organization, citing their interest in providing more than just financial support for a chosen cause.
Did you hear that? There’s a huge relationship between volunteering and giving.
And here is another incredible fact. Volunteers donate more than donors who don’t volunteer. (Tweet it!) According to Fidelity Charitable, they donate 10 times more. Other studies show the number a little lower, but the consistent fact is that they donate more.
Did you hear that? Volunteers donate more.
But here’s the problem. Most organizations don’t take advantage of this reality. In fact, one of the biggest struggles organizations have is connecting volunteer activity and donor involvement. It’s like they’re parallel universes.
This is just amazing.
It’s especially amazing in light of the need for MGOs to build a solid caseload of qualified donors.
Think about this. You need to build your caseload with qualified donors. You’re looking at the donor list and isolating those donors who have given the most and have the most capacity for your qualification process.
But totally absent from your process is that major donor right in front of you. The volunteer who gives hundreds of hours a year to you, who has capacity to give money as well.
Take another look at this. Connect with that volunteer and make them a part of your qualifying process. Just do one to see what happens. You’ll be amazed.