Are you benefitting the most from your volunteers? Working at a nonprofit can be a stressful job, there never seems to be enough time or resources to get everything done. Your organization relies on volunteers to function. Many organizations are missing out on volunteer grants. They are a simple and effective way to increase revenue through corporate volunteering. Volunteer grants were originally created to encourage local volunteerism where employees live and work. These programs are also referred to as Dollars for Doers hence the title. In fact, these grants are often underutilized simply because many organizations and employees do not know that they exist. You’ve done the hard part by recruiting volunteers that dedicate time to your organization, why not benefit just a bit more.
How they work: When an employee volunteers at an organization of their choice, their employer will give a grant to the nonprofit. The grant amount varies by company, but they usually work in two different ways. They either have a per hour rate or a minimum hours threshold before a grant will be issued.
Corporate benefits: In our modern day most companies have realized they need to incorporate corporate social responsibility into their business plan. It is great to see more and more companies engaging communities and helping out social causes. Currently 40% of fortune 500 companies offer these programs. • Promotes goodwill and shows employees that the organization cares about others outside of business. • Good local PR opportunities • Helps in recruiting top candidates that care about social impact.
Non profit benefits: To be honest, most of at that work in the nonprofit sector realize that any donation big or small can help us achieve our goals. With volunteer grants you aren’t asking your volunteer for much more; they are already volunteering and most of them wouldn’t mind helping you gain some extra money. • Increase in local volunteers • increase in revenue • Growing your audience base and reach
“On average people donate 10 times more if they have volunteered the past year” – Caroline Preston, Philanthropy.com
Yes, you need volunteers: I have come across several non profits that have told me they don’t use volunteers or they have nothing for them to do. Use their strengths to fill gaps in your organizations or get creative and make up a somewhat fun volunteer opportunity.
How to keep volunteers:
• Engage your volunteers
• Show them they are appreciated
• Find people who believe in your mission
“In 2011, the University of Texas at Austin received a matching-gift check for $1.19 million from ExxonMobil” -Adam Weinger, Fundraising success
Volunteer grants can be an effective way to increase revenue with just a few simple steps. Educate yourself and your volunteers and begin seeing results. For detailed information on Volunteer Grants, finding volunteers and more resources, please watch my video: “Dollars for Doers- Informing and engaging volunteers for funding”. The video can be found by clicking here Louis Garcia is a branding and communication professional, in the past he has done work for various non profits and small businesses. He is a Public Relations and Corporate Communications graduate student at Georgetown University. You can learn more about Louis here- www.linkedin.com/in/louisgarcia43 @Twittalesslouis
Resources: http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/07/corporate-philanthropy-benefits-volunteer-grant-programs/ https://doublethedonation.com/matching-grant-resources/matching-gift-statistics/ http://blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/2012/05/16/is-your-organization-benefiting-from-corporate-volunteer-grants/ http://philanthropy.com/article/Volunteers-Give-10-Times-More/63200 http://www.nonprofithub.org/volunteer-recruiting/the-benefits-of-using-volunteers-and-requesting-dollar-for-doer-grants/ http://www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com/article/matching-gift-volunteer-grant-programs-can-boost-fundraising/1