QUICK SHOT: From Volunteer to Donor: Engagement Strategies & Tips

Grow your nonprofit’s volunteer program for lasting support

What’s the first step to inspiring generosity in your community? 

For me, the first step was becoming a volunteer. Getting involved and participating firsthand in an organization I could believe in. Engaging first as a volunteer was an important milestone on my journey to becoming a nonprofit donor. 

I started at the Long Beach Rescue Mission as a kitchen volunteer helping to serve meals every Saturday morning.

I can recall waking up bright and early, putting on an apron, being intimidated but learning how to cook eggs for more than 20 people, and the smiles of those saying “Good Morning” while eating a hot plate. 

This experience brought me so much joy, fulfillment and trust in the Rescue Mission and their vision to help those experiencing homelessness in the community. 

“Studies have shown that 85% of volunteers donate to the nonprofits they volunteer for.” – BDI Volunteer 911

And 72% of volunteers serve only one organization or cause. I’m part of those statistics. Now, I no longer live in Long Beach, but I will always feel a sense of belonging to that community. By donating to the Mission, I still feel connected and able to contribute to how they’re changing lives.

“Developing a successful volunteer ministry can be time-consuming and challenging, but it is, without a doubt, worth the effort.” – BDI Volunteer 911

My personal experience is a window into how engaging your volunteers with your nonprofit’s vision is an important strategy that can encourage them to become prayer partners, gift-in-kind donors and financial givers.

Here are a few tips to help you set the foundation for engaging your volunteers:

  • Discover possible volunteer needs and opportunities by communicating with all ministry areas in your organization.
  • Determine what type of volunteer is best suited for each opportunity. 
  • Recruit volunteers from a variety of sources in your community. 

Get ready for National Volunteer Month

National Volunteer Month in April is right around the corner! And what better time to celebrate, inspire, invite and engage your faithful volunteers with these strategies?

Remember these important dates:
National Volunteer Week: April 16-22, 2023
National Volunteer Month: April 1-30, 2023

To help you plan for these events, download this free Volunteer Week Strategy Sheet from BDI Library, with great ideas and strategies to engage and celebrate your volunteers. And BDI clients, for more strategic advice, please check out our Volunteer Relations tab in the BDI Library and ask your Strategist or BDI Academy about other resources available to support you. 

As they say, “many hands make light work,” so I encourage you to take advantage of these upcoming opportunities to rally your volunteers. If you have questions about the ideas you find in these strategy sheets, or are interested in learning more about how BDI can help you grow your volunteer base, please feel free to email me today! 

  • Tina Wooton

    Tina Wooton, Project Manager

    With over 7 years of experience serving Rescue Mission clients at BDI, Tina Wooton has built her expertise in direct marketing strategy and omni-channel fundraising. Before working at BDI, she worked with nonprofit clients for a private company and gained firsthand experience serving as a volunteer at a local Rescue Mission. This volunteer work ignited her desire to pursue a professional career where she could help support Rescue Missions and other nonprofit organizations. 

More fuel for more impact.

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