Recruiting and Retaining Outstanding Fundraising Volunteers
Nonprofit organizations that do not have the support of high-powered, committed volunteers could still succeed in their fundraising efforts. Nonprofits that have a strong base of committed and skilled fundraising volunteers are always successful.
Most organizations would accept this truth without debate, but they face a number of challenges in the wake of this realization. So while they accept that high-quality fundraising volunteers are desirable and will yield superior results, they also recognize that there is increasing competition for those volunteers, and the level of expertise they need to bring to the table is increasing.
For the moment, let’s assume that your organization has learned the valuable lessons of why people volunteer. Let’s also assume that there is a common grasp of the distinctions between fundraising volunteers and other program and governance volunteers. Finally, we shall assume that top quality fundraising volunteers are helpful in our work in some of the following positions:
* Special event chair and committee
* Development committee member
* Campaign chair
* Prospect advisory committee
* Host of fundraising event
* Personal solicitor
There are some reasonable expectations a development director should have of fundraising volunteers. Each of these expectations should be stated at the beginning of the recruitment process and mutually agreed upon. Among them are dedication, access, information, insight, attendance, enthusiasm and loyalty.
Unfortunately, many nonprofit organizations get to this point and then expect the volunteers to just “show up.” It’s not very different from an organization with a wonderful case for support that simply expects donors to start pouring money into its mission.
At this point, the job of recruiting volunteers has just begun. Before lining up the “warm bodies” to fill fundraising volunteer position vacancies, the leadership of the nonprofit should ask itself the following questions:
1) What are our organization’s needs?