Do you know that your volunteer work for other nonprofit organizations can connect you to potential donors to your organization?
I was the first director of development for a parochial school many years ago. The development department itself was brand new (I can definitely relate to the “we are a small shop” mentality!)
Because we were new to fundraising, and I was the first DofD, I had to:
- Find and build brand new relationships with potential donors
- Create a culture of philanthropy from scratch
- Spend money on fundraising tools with no budget
- Start a marketing campaign on the success of the school to show many in the community we we even existed
I am sure many of you can relate!
Building new relationships was job #1 for me, and I found a way to do it: volunteering! By helping at a local homeless shelter, I met wonderful people that cared about providing solid education. By taking under privileged kids shopping for the holidays, I rubbed shoulders with selfless people that also were interested in providing scholarships. By helping clean animal shelters at the humane society, I was able to meet people that were philanthropic by nature!
Some of these folks gave to my school, some volunteered for my school, but all become lasting friends and inspiration for me to work harder.
The old adage that the carpenter’s house is always in disrepair, especially at nonprofits. Everyone is busy. But, you owe it to yourself to get out and volunteer, do good, and meet some wonderful people in the process! So don’t be afraid to partner with another organization. Everyone wins!