Volunteers are a major part of your organization, but it takes more than your volunteers to make everything run smoothly: you need that good ol' fashioned money! When you're looking for donors, don't overlook your event volunteers. Here are a few ideas to help you convert your volunteers into some of your biggest supporters.
MAKE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS
Loyalty goes both ways: you can't expect them to support you if they don't feel like you care about them. Get to know them and take the time to show your appreciation with verbal thanks, notes, and even small gifts for your volunteers, as your budget allows.
Rally the team of volunteers to build an emotional connection to the experience. People like to feel that they're a part of a bigger picture; working together to create a memorable event creates a superior experience for each volunteer.
GET THEM INVESTED
Part of what helps them build a connection to you is a sense of responsibility to the project. Make sure you pay special attention to managing your volunteers properly, giving them duties that showcase their talents and interests, and that what they do is truly important to the success of the event (it's not just busy work).
DEMONSTRATE YOUR EXPERTISE
When your event goes smoothly, people trust you, and thus you have trusted event staff. They feel confident supporting you when they know the work will be top-notch. If an event is chaotic, volunteer and event expectations are unclear, you'll have a hard time getting those donations. To avoid feeling frantic and disorganized, implementing the use of an event management tool can help you deliver a polished event, every time.
SHARE YOUR VISION
Make sure the vision for your organization is clear to your volunteers. Help them understand the important role they play in creating an event, and how important the events are to the attendees.
Part of this may include transparency regarding how much it costs to put on an event. Many people don't realize the amount of work and expense required. The transparency also helps you build trust, which encourages loyalty -- and donations! When your volunteers understand how much money is required, and if they feel strongly connected to you and the event, they may want to help you financially.
MAKE IT EASY TO DONATE
Be ready to accept donations in person via cheque, credit card, or cash, and offer online options for those who would like to remain anonymous.
Don't be afraid to ask! There's a chance that some of your volunteers don't even realize you need or accept donations. You never know unless you ask!
For more resources, download our free volunteer registration form template to ensure you don't forget to ask any important questions!