How your nonprofit handles volunteer data can have a tremendous impact on your organization's ability to attract new donors. Recent data suggests that there is a very fine line between organizational volunteers, and individuals providing financial value to a cause. A study provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 87.4% of people who volunteered also donated. The study also concluded that individuals who volunteered gave almost 50% more than those who donated alone. As you can see from the statistics separating your supporters into either volunteers or donors may be a huge mistake for your nonprofit organization. So how should a nonprofit use volunteer data to foster new donor relationships? Here are a few best practices:
Integrate Your Volunteer and Donor Management Software
One of the most effective ways to truly understand the relationship between your nonprofit's volunteers and donors is to integrate your volunteer and donor management systems. Integrating your volunteer management platform and your donor management tool will provide your nonprofit better insights, and allow your organization to make more strategic decisions. Here are a few of the key benefits of having an integrated volunteer and donor management system:
Data management becomes more streamlined as all information is hosted in one central place
Having a central system reduces the risk of human error
Integration creates the opportunity to analyze how stakeholders are interacting across channels
Integrating tools allows your nonprofit to segment your top donors and volunteers
Integration allows nonprofits to see which volunteers are already donating
Integration creates transparency across your nonprofit's internal departments
Integrate Your Volunteer and Donor Management Tools with Google Analytics
Google Analytics can provide your nonprofit with real time metrics that can enhance your organizational strategy and find areas of your online presence that could use additional optimization. Google Analytics can also integrate with many volunteer management platforms (such as VolunteerHub and fundraising software like Blackbaud).
Integrating with Google Analytics can allow a nonprofit to see what steps a prospect completed in order to become a volunteer or a donor. The data can be used to make optimizations and create campaigns in order to convert more volunteers into donors or vice versa. Here are a few ways that Google Analytics can be used to bridge the gap between volunteers and donor activity:
Google Analytics can provide your organization volunteer and donor behavior patterns
Your organization can set up goals in analytics to better gauge the success of your donor and volunteer landing pages
Analytics can provide insights into your volunteer and donor demographics
Your organization can use analytics to better understand what traffic sources are leading to the highest volunteer and donor conversion rates
Analytics will help your organization optimize fundraising and volunteer campaigns based on data.
By analyzing both volunteer and donor prospect actives via Google Analytics your organization will be able to find similarities and differences in their online behavior. Once these are identified bridging the gap and finding opportunities from cross-promotion becomes much easier.
Enhance Your Volunteers Experience and Create Brand Advocates
Another great way that your nonprofit can create new donor prospects is by nurturing your existing volunteer base. Enhancing the experiences that you are providing your volunteers can convert them into brand advocates. Brand advocates are much more likely to provide financial contributions to your nonprofit's cause. So, what is the difference between a volunteer and a brand advocate? A brand advocate is someone who volunteers regularly, refers friends and family to your organization, and strongly believes in your nonprofit's mission, goals, and core values. Identifying brand advocates in your volunteer management solution and creating a fundraising campaign that targets them specifically can help your organization convert more volunteers to donors quickly.
Communicate with Your Volunteers
We have all heard the saying that communication is key. The same is true when it comes to enhancing your volunteer's experience and potentially turning them into donors. Your organization's volunteer management solution should allow you to send real time notifications via text or email. Notifications can enhance your volunteer's experience by keeping them up-to-date with your organization, opportunities they have volunteered for, and new opportunities for them to become involved. By communicating important information quickly and efferently your organization is one step closer to creating brand advocates.
Make the Process of Giving Easier
Your organization can make all the adjustments in the world but if the process of giving is not easy chances are your nonprofits fundraising campaigns will not be successful. Make the process as easy as possible for donors by creating intuitive landing pages, targeted asks, and accepting donations online. Making the process of giving easier and optimizing your fundraising efforts based on data will have a substantial impact on your campaign success rate.
VolunteerHub, Blackbaud’s 2016 technology partner of the year, can assist your nonprofit organization by providing a streamlined process for reaching both volunteers and donors. Our volunteer management tool integrates with Blackbaud’s suite of CRMs, creating a versatile and well-rounded solution for identifying both volunteer and donor opportunities.
Eric Burger is the Marketing Communications Manager for VolunteerHub, an organization that provides volunteer management solutions for nonprofits across the globe. Eric has worked in the B2B software industry for the past 2 years, and has over 5 years of experience in digital marketing.