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Engaging Volunteers As Donors At Your Free Clinic

Convert Passion To Support

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What would your nonprofit be without the dedication, passion, and commitment of your volunteers? You might be surprised to learn that 92% of volunteers *will* give to your organization, according to a recent study by Fidelity Charitable Giving. How can you make the most of this prime opportunity? Are you even asking? Here are some tips to get started engaging volunteers as donors at your free clinic.

Maximize the volunteer experience

First and foremost, you need to make 100% sure that you are giving your volunteers an excellent volunteer experience before you ask them to give. They need to feel appreciated and valued to be motivated to give.

Here are a few ways to ensure you’re delivering stellar volunteer experiences:

  • Treat them just like donors by learning about their interests and sharing their impact.
  • Brag about them to their peers, boss, or family members.
  • Have fun with them.
  • Give them special privileges or incentives.
  • Share regular feedback, rewards, and recognition.
  • Create a stewardship and retention plan showing how their support makes a difference.

Make the ask

Here are five different strategies and six examples of making the ask to a volunteer.

1. Personalize the appeal to them as volunteers. Thank them for volunteering before making the ask.


“Thank you for so selflessly [describe volunteer work they did]. You’re an essential part of our team. Today, I’m asking if you can also support us financially. Your donation will help us continue the work you care so deeply about.”

2. Invite them to share why they volunteer at your clinic and tell them why it matters and how it can help.


“We’d love to hear why you volunteer at our clinic. Share your story with us and consider making a donation to help us continue our mission. Your story and support can inspire others to join our cause.”

3. Make sure your offer [what the donor’s gift will accomplish] is clear and tangible.


“Every $20 you donate will provide a health check-up for someone in need. It’s a simple yet powerful way to make a real difference in our community.”

4. Reflect on what a compassionate, generous person they are to volunteer.


“Your dedication as a volunteer shows how much you care about our community’s health. By making a donation, you can further extend your compassion and ensure we continue to provide free, quality healthcare to those who need it most.”


“As a dedicated volunteer, you already make a huge impact. By donating, you can double your contribution to our mission, ensuring that even more people receive the care they need.”

5. Update them on how their volunteering is making an impact and tie in your ask with the work they did during their volunteer shift, as Feed My Starving Children does in their 3-part volunteer email series, below:

Cultivate and retain “super supporters” for nonprofit success

Bloomerang has coined a term for volunteers who donate (and donors who volunteer!)—”super supporters.” If you’d like to dive deeper into how to cultivate and keep these champions, check out some additional content on the topic:

These articles are loaded with practical tips to help nurture these vital relationships. By tapping into these resources you’ll be ready to build a tribe of super supporters at your organization.

A pep talk to get started

In a survey of close to 2,000 volunteers done by Fidelity Charitable, only 8% didn’t also donate to the nonprofit where they volunteer.

Your volunteers are already deeply invested in your mission, making them ideal candidates for donor engagement. You only need to ask. If you don’t ask, they won’t know you need help.

Just remember to always show appreciation, highlight their contributions, and let them know how their donations are making a difference.

Using these strategies, you’ll not only grow your donor base but also strengthen the community of supporters who believe in your cause as passionately as you do.

So go ahead, make the ask, and watch how your volunteers transform into your most dedicated donors!

For more inspiration, check out this webinar, Turn Your Free Clinics Volunteers into Donors.

Are you ready to see how Bloomerang can help your Free Clinic identify volunteers ready to donate and better retain donors?

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