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From Volunteer to Giver: 14 Steps to Transform a Volunteer to a Generous Giver

2 min read
May 3, 2024 2:15:00 PM

Converting a nonprofit volunteer into a generous giver involves building a strong relationship, demonstrating impact, and appealing to their altruistic motivations. Here are steps to accomplish this:

  1. Understand Their Motivations: Understand why the volunteer is engaged with your nonprofit. Are they passionate about the cause? Do they have personal experiences related to the mission? Knowing their motivations will help tailor your approach.

  2. Build Trust and Relationship: Strengthen your relationship with the volunteer by engaging them in meaningful conversations, expressing gratitude for their contributions, and showing genuine interest in their experiences and perspectives.

  3. Communicate Impact: Regularly share stories, testimonials, and data that illustrate the positive impact of your nonprofit's work. Show them how their volunteer efforts directly contribute to achieving the organization's mission and making a difference in the community.

  4. Educate About Giving Opportunities: Introduce the volunteers to different ways they can support the organization financially, such as one-time donations, recurring gifts, sponsorships, or planned giving. Provide information about the various giving options and their potential impact.

  5. Personalize the Ask: Tailor your fundraising appeals to the volunteer's interests and preferences. Highlight specific projects or initiatives that align with their passion and demonstrate how their financial support can help advance those causes.

  6. Invite Them to Events: Invite the volunteer to fundraising events, donor appreciation gatherings, or behind-the-scenes tours of your nonprofit's operations. These opportunities allow them to connect with other supporters, learn more about the organization, and feel like a valued community member.

  7. Offer Recognition and Involvement: Acknowledge the volunteer's generosity publicly and privately. Recognize their contributions through personalized thank-you notes, social media shoutouts, or inclusion in donor honor rolls. Additionally, offer opportunities for them to get involved in decision-making processes or volunteer leadership roles within the organization.


  1. Provide Transparency: Be transparent about how donations are used and their impact on the organization's programs and beneficiaries. Offer financial reports and updates on key initiatives to demonstrate accountability and trustworthiness.

  2. Follow Up Regularly: Stay in touch with the volunteer-turned-donor to express appreciation, update the organization's progress, and share success stories. Cultivate an ongoing relationship built on trust, communication, and mutual respect.

  3. Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate milestones in the volunteer's journey, such as their first donation, anniversary of involvement with the organization, or significant contributions. Express gratitude and reinforce the importance of their continued support in achieving the nonprofit's goals.

  4. Stage of Engagement: Involve them in the generosity conversation, from recruiting volunteers to onboarding to continuous learning. Initially, acquiring a donor volunteer may center around their area of service. Broaden the discussion as time passes to include your unrestricted bucket.  

  5. Showcase Volunteers Who Give: Peer-to-peer engagement is key and generates results. By following these steps and nurturing the relationship with the volunteer, you can effectively transition them into a generous giver who provides vital financial support to your nonprofit's mission.

  6. Invite Volunteers to Serve on Fundraising Focused Initiatives:  Campaign Committee, Governing Board, Advisory Task Force, Annual Fund Leadership, etc.  

  7. Recruit Donors to Become Volunteers:  Cultivate engagement among donors by having them volunteer.  A volunteer donor can become your organization's most passionate ambassadors.  

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