The first questions potential campaign volunteers pose often focus on time. Typical time commitments include prospect communication such as calling to set appointments, writing door-opener and follow-up letters, and actually making visits. These are time-consuming activities, and volunteers usually understand that they are essential and that only they can perform these duties.
Effective management of volunteers is at the core of a successful fundraising campaign. Volunteers represent a critical element for a variety of reasons. No one can tell the organization’s story better than a volunteer. They are often someone who has benefited from the organization. They can speak first-hand about the need filled by the group. They are seen as less biased than a staff member or consultant; they are not there as part of their job but out of a love of the organization. Last but not least, they can demonstrate visible leadership through a generous pledge on their own part. The volunteer is the star in our constellation of campaign workers.
As non-profit professionals, we rely on volunteers to complete our work, and the mission of our organization. Individuals who give their time and energy—above and beyond their financial commitment—are the lifeblood of charitable groups. Volunteers come in many forms. People may be long-term volunteers as a member of the board, they may be short-term volunteers as helpers for a special event, or they may be influential members of the community recruited to help lead a fundraising effort. Regardless of their role, the fullest possible level of involvement and the successful completion of their duties is critical to the progress of the organization.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of a non-profit organization. They are passionate advocates for organizations, sharing their involvement with friends, neighbors and colleagues. A non-profit will not find more effective public relations than a motivated volunteer, especially during a capital campaign.
What is the most important component of a volunteer program? The most important component is the plan that determines how well the program is being run.