If you work for a nonprofit, you know that fundraising can’t wait in this climate—the populations you serve are more vulnerable than ever. But with cancelled in-person events and an unfolding global recession, you might be wondering where to even look for donations.
Your volunteers are primed to help you weather this storm financially. They already believe in the importance of your cause, and more importantly, they want to help.
Each of your volunteers has a network of people—friends, family, coworkers. By giving them the right tools and support, you can empower them to fundraise on your behalf. Peer-to-peer fundraisers raise four to six times more than what the average donor would give individually. This presents an opportunity to engage your volunteers more deeply and bring in new supporters for your organization.
In response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, May 5 is being designated as a new global day of giving, #GivingTuesdayNow. Whether for this upcoming Tuesday or for your organization’s next fundraising effort, here are five steps you can take to mobilize your volunteers and raise precious dollars for your cause.
1. Recognize what your volunteers have already helped you accomplish
Your volunteers are a powerful asset for your organization, so remind them of that. Through Mobilize’s messaging feature, you might send a message like the following:
First of all, thank you so much for being such an amazing volunteer. With your help, we’ve been able to complete over 4,983 calls to at-risk seniors across the state to ensure that they have access to essential services while self-isolating and social distancing.
2. Share your specific need
Your volunteers may not even be aware of your need to raise precious funds for your work. Showcase the work that these fundraising dollars enable you to accomplish. Ideally, keep these needs time-bound in your message, so that they can understand the urgency:
Before COVID-19, our organization had already been delivering 110 million meals to 1.7 million seniors each year. However, during this time of crisis, we’re seeing more seniors face food insecurity than ever.
The costs and efforts needed to protect seniors from COVID-19 require additional emergency funds, and we’re trying to raise $100,000 by May 10 so that we can deliver an additional 12,000 meals.
3. Show them how they can help
Now, get your volunteers excited about how they can help. They already believe in your organization’s work, so show them how they can take it further by fundraising for your cause:
As a volunteer, you’re one of our most powerful voices for spreading the word about senior hunger. On May 5, our organization is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving in response to the unprecedented needs caused by COVID-19. We’re $10,000 away from reaching our goal, and we need your help to get the word out on Tuesday.
4. Make sure that they feel equipped
Your volunteers are busy people, and effectively sharing your organization’s mission & work can feel time-consuming – even for the most social-media savvy. Give your volunteers guidance by providing them with everything they need to fundraise successfully in your message:
To help us reach our goal, we’ve made it really easy to start your own fundraising page that you can share with friends and family. I’m attaching a link to some sample language that you can copy and paste for emails so that you can get started in under 5 minutes.
You might create a simple toolkit with:
- Images of your organization’s work, sized for social media
- Sample social media posts
- Sample emails to friends and family
- Sample text messages to friends and family
5. Celebrate every win together
Even after your fundraisers have launched their initial efforts, you’ll want to continue to follow up with them so that they can stay engaged and motivated.
Congratulate them for hitting certain milestones, acknowledge them on social media, and share frequent campaign updates so that they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment around what you’re doing together.
After your campaign ends, try hosting a fun virtual event or virtual fundraiser, like a happy hour or game night, where you celebrate your successes, have fun, and discuss what’s next on the roadmap. (Browse additional virtual event ideas here.)
Especially during a time when your volunteers can’t show up in person, they will want to help. Your fundraising efforts enable your organization to do critical work, so don’t underestimate your volunteers’ desire to help you reach those goals. With the right tools and support, your volunteers can become some of the most seasoned fundraisers for your cause.