“As it happens, a lot of our volunteers are donors,” says Dora Chan. And she should know – she’s what colleagues refer to as the “database whiz” at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. And in fact, her statement is true of the wider nonprofit sector: a recent study by VolunteerMatch and Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund found that 67% of volunteers also give money to the organizations where they invest time and talent. You might be asking: why should I care?
Well, for one thing, could your team answer this: “To what extent does our own volunteer list overlap with our donor list?” Would it be a major time-sink to go compare two or more lists? Is it possible there’s a population where you could be raising 10x what you’re raising now??
(I imagine there are multiple people at your organization who would care about that last one.)
“When people volunteer, their money is not far behind,” says a trusted fundraising friend. That meets the common-sense sniff-test to me personally. In retrospect, I’m certain it was no coincidence that I just made my first donation to my neighborhood YMCA, just weeks after finishing up a 2-month stint as a volunteer basketball coach. I wasn’t thinking about the two types of involvement when I made the gift, but I certainly was picturing my pee-wee players and their parents and siblings when I considered what the Y’s Partners of Youth Campaign could provide my community. Intimate involvement yielded stronger affinity. Pulling out my credit card wasn’t nearly as challenging as getting up and being enthusiastic and nurturing eight Saturday mornings in a row.
Which leads to my next point: who exactly is recruiting your future donors?
In a brief but smart blog post on Volunteer Manager job qualifications, volunteering guru Jayne Cravens wrote that the ideal role is “not merely the purveyor of free labor” but instead might have responsibilities like:
Jayne really takes a long and wide view regarding volunteers and how to cultivate them. She consults internationally regarding recruiting, training, deploying and retaining today’s skilled and successful volunteers – using especially the new online and social techniques consumers have come to expect. And she’s literally writing the book on online volunteering (due out this year).
We’re very excited that Jayne will be our guest speaker at this month’s free Convio webinar: “Volunteer Management: 5 Trends that Can Improve Your Fundraising Bottom Line.” She’ll share the top 5 trends she’s identified at the local, national, and international level, what’s working best with regards to keeping volunteers engaged, and how to set yourself up for success with community involvement in today’s hectic environment, when every volunteer (and prospective donor) is just a click away from another game of “Angry Birds.”
This stuff matters. 44% of volunteers say that - if an organization cannot take advantage of their specific skills - they will go volunteer elsewhere. And now that we know that these folks give 10x what other donors do, that’s a lot of VIP wallets potentially headed out the door. Everyone should care about that.
P.S. Be sure to save your seat: pre-register now for “Volunteer Management: 5 Trends that Can Improve Your Fundraising Bottom Line” on Tuesday, April 24th, at 11 a.m. Central time.
People engaging in social media are interested in being social, which means they want to establish relationships with the organizations & individuals that they follow. Effective social media campaigns help foster these relationships by engaging followers in two-way communication.
Many organizations mistakenly limit their social media activity to broadcasting information about their events or their organization, thereby cutting the “social” out of “social media.” This critical mistake limits the overall effectiveness of your social media campaigns by removing the opportunities for your followers to build a relationship with your organization. You should think of social media functioning more like a telephone and less like a megaphone.
When social media is done right it builds trust and affinity towards your organization. Your followers will become more invested in your mission, which will lead them to have a sense of ownership over the success of your organization and its fundraising events.
5 Tips to Keep the “Social” in “Social Media”
In the upcoming months, we'll be talking more about how to develop and manage effective social media campaigns in support of your event fundraising. What topics would you be interested in learning more about? Are there areas where your fundraising events are struggling to find thier social footing? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to learn more about your needs!
Learn more about how your fundraising event can use social media by downloading our Quick Start Guide for Socially Savvy P2P Events.
Infographics are all the rage, and do we have one for you today! Who doesn't love big bold pictures with bits of trivia and data on online fundraising, advocacy, email and events that you can use to impress your coworkers? This year's 2012 Benchmark infographic condenses 56 pages of fundraising data in one awesome graphic. You're welcome. Pin it up in your cube, present it at your next staff meeting, or fold it in your pocket for the next nonprofit pub quiz. Choices are endless!
If you're too young to remember where you were when JFK was shot, you might well remember where you were on December 26, 2004 when a massive tsunami caused a deadly natural disaster around the Indian Ocean. I'll remember that day well because I was on call as the manager of the British Red Cross' online donations and messaging platform. Of course the disaster prompted a flurry of activity at the Red Cross which sent aid to the region both directly and through local partners, and mobilised thousands of supporters to donate goods and cash in support of the effort.
One of the reasons that the date is so firmly etched in my memory is that the Red Cross did not use a cloud hosted solution. That meant that physical computers had to be racked and configured in pretty short order just to cope with the surge in demand caused by this significant event.
When looking at their future online platform requirements, I'm finding that the charities we work with are all very interested in what the cloud can offer. This is where the charity sector's specific needs really need to be addressed. There are some general reasons why cloud computing is gaining adoption and is seen by many as "a very good thing", but what I have found is that those charities choosing it aren't always doing so for the reasons that commercial organisations adopt the cloud. In our world, there seem to be three key strengths of the cloud which just can't be matched any other way:
So whatever systems you're considering for online - don't just read the standard stuff which applies to commercial organisations - cloud applications are super-charity-friendly in special ways!
If you're interested - you can read more about my boxing day antics at http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=776182
Used to be, when it came to giving there were two parties: the donor and the organization.
Now though, with the advent of social fundraising, there are often three parties: the donor, the organization and the unrelated-to-the-organization social fundraising platform. And while we might be tempted to say “two’s company but three’s a crowd,” it doesn’t have to be that way. If your organization embraces social fundraising, it could be the more the merrier.
What is social fundraising?
I like to describe social fundraising as the marriage between peer-to-peer giving and social media.
Many moons ago, we solicited donations from our friends by carrier pigeon, mail, phone or email…the same ways we communicated with them about other things. Today we still use (most) of those methods to communicate but we also increasingly use social media. So it’s really no surprise that our methods of donation solicitation have evolved to include social media too.
The very first thing an organization wanting to use social fundraising should do, is have its own social media presence. You don’t need to be on every platform, but considering your goals and resources, select those you can be successful with. (Read our Social Media Tips & Tricks if you need tips.)
Next, to best harness the enthusiasm of your constituents and power of social fundraising, your organization should be an active participant in choosing the social fundraising tool constituents are encouraged to use. When considering which of the many tools to use, ask yourself these questions:
While these are the first questions your organization should ask, social fundraising, like any campaign, can’t be decided on by reading one 371-word blog post. You need to gather more information about goals, capacity, audience etc.
If you are at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, come to my session tomorrow (10:30a, Market Street room) to learn more and see a case study from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
If you are not at the conference, you can continue learning about social fundraising through our Common Ground Social video.
Subscribe to receive posts via email:
Get answers to product questions, join "Birds of a Feather" discussions and more. Join the Online Community
Alltop - Nonprofit
A Small Change
Bob Ottenhoff's Blog
Donor Power Blog
Future Leaders in Philanthropy
Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Nonprofit Law Prof
Pamela’s Grant Blog
Sea Change Strategies
Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology