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.
You have seen it written many place before: fundraising is, at its core, a profession based on communication. We work hard everyday to help people understand our values, our mission, and our task. More than just communicating, though, we seek to persuade. Not just to help people understand our mission but to convince them to make it their own. While communication can be a very objective task, persuasion is a very subjective concept. How we say things becomes as important as what we say.
As development professionals we are constantly called upon to properly prepare our volunteers for the often-daunting task of a face-to-face solicitation. We all know the advantages derived from the personal visit compared to a phone call, letter or brochure. Whether your solicitation team is requesting a seven-figure gift or a three-figure gift, the amount of time you spend researching your donor and preparing your team for the solicitation will be directly related to your success rate. At Custom Development Solutions, Inc. (CDS) we insure that the volunteers with whom we work are well prepared and thoroughly trained through the use of what we call the Leadership Solicitation Briefing Document.
Topics: Board Development, briefing, Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies, Capital Campaigns, CDS, Custom Development Solutions, development, donor, Fundraising Principles, gift, Leadership briefing, Professional Skill Building, professionals, researching, solicitation, volunteers
All not-for-profit organizations depend on volunteers, from envelope stuffers to members of the board of directors. Because they are your organization’s lifeblood, you and other staff members must make careful decisions about the objectives and outcomes of your volunteer program, just as you would with any program. When you have determined the benefits and pitfalls of using volunteers and outlined some challenging and interesting jobs, you are ready to take four steps to setting up a successful volunteer management program.