How to Turn Nonprofit Volunteers into Donors: 3 Tips

Your nonprofit’s volunteers can be some of your most dedicated donors when you invest in those relationships. Here are three critical tips for doing so.

How to Turn Nonprofit Volunteers into Donors: 3 Tips

Volunteers are often the most dedicated and productive supporters of a nonprofit organization. They donate their skills, time, and heart to contribute towards a cause they believe in. This makes volunteers great candidates to become long-term donors as well.

The more engaged and connected volunteers feel towards your nonprofit, the more likely they are to deepen their contributions through both time and monetary donations. This article will offer three simple and actionable tips to convert your volunteers into donors.

  1. Develop personal relationships
  2. Communicate the impact of their support
  3. Make the giving process simple

Volunteers are critical for charitable organizations, which often means nonprofits are hesitant to ask for even more—especially monetary donations.

However, according to a Fidelity Charitable Study, “50% of participants donate more money to an organization because they volunteer there.” This shows that volunteers can also be donors with the right strategies. Here’s how you can encourage charitable giving from your existing supporters!

1. Develop personal relationships

It’s essential to establish a meaningful connection with your volunteers. The more connected they feel toward your cause, the more likely they are to take the next step in donating to your organization.

To do so, harness data from your volunteer management database such as engagement history, communication preferences, and more. This information will allow you to segment your volunteers and send more personalized messages to each recipient.

If you’re going to ask your volunteers to take an extra step to support your organization, make sure you’ve invested in a solid relationship with them first. For example, be sure to show your appreciation for the ways they already support your mission. Then you can develop more personalized requests and increase the likelihood of them giving.

Investing in volunteer appreciation activities and communications is a great way to establish a more meaningful connection with your team of volunteers. Whether it's a simple thank you SMS message after a shift or a monthly appreciation lunch, these good faith interactions will boost morale and increase the likelihood of volunteers further investing their time or money in your nonprofit.

2. Communicate the impact of their support

When you consider asking volunteers to make financial contributions towards your cause, communicate to them exactly how their money and donated time will make a difference.

That’s where the right technology can come in handy. Your volunteer management software should provide you with details on the programs, roles, and shifts a volunteer has worked. From there, you can send detailed fundraising messages that include the impact they made volunteering (such as the number of hours worked) and how they could double that difference by making a small monthly donation. Then, communicate the impact their volunteer work and donation will make for your mission.

And remember, the more personal your fundraising communications, the better. Make sure to include any real-life impact stories that demonstrate how their support is helping to make a real difference in the world. The more examples, the better your supporter will understand how they can make a difference, and the more motivated they will be to take the next step.

3. Make the giving process simple

At this point, you’ve already invested a lot into converting volunteers into donors, so the last thing you want to do is make it complicated or confusing for them to contribute their gift. That's why it's critical that you have an optimized donation page complete with a streamlined donation form and highly secure payment process.

Make sure your donation page continues to describe the great work your organization does and communicates how donations make a difference. You can even embed your donation form right on the page, making it quick and easy for supporters to complete their donation.

Once a gift is made, it’s important to show your thanks and communicate the various ways that it will help make the world a better place. Remember, every interaction with your nonprofit matters—so be sure to inform and educate donors on your nonprofit progress on a regular basis.

Volunteers are some of the most valuable supporters for an organization, and many of them are prepared to take the next step and donate money towards your cause. All you need to do is identify who are the best people to ask and make the giving process as simple as possible!

These actionable tips will ensure that you inspire your volunteers and motivate them to double down on their support towards your nonprofit. Good luck!

Author: Cassandra Smallman, Head of Marketing at InitLive

Cassandra is a passionate content creator dedicated to fostering positive impact through thought leadership in both the Nonprofit sector and live events industry. You can find her work at or on Linkedin and Twitter.