The Volunteer Myth

The Volunteer Myth

Go to any fundraising conference these days, and I will bet you a $2-bill that someone will be presenting that the best way of lifting your donors’ performance is by inviting them to volunteer. We’ve done a couple of research projects with volunteers, and I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. I take that back. It’s a great idea if the volunteer experience is awesome. Unfortunately, our research shows that too often donors have an awful volunteer experience. And rather than enhancing the relationship with the organization, it only demonstrates to the donor how incompetent the organization is. Not really the desired result, huh? So if you are going to try to engage your donors with volunteer opportunities, make sure that you designate the resources to make it an awesome experience. This is no place to cut corners. If it’s not going to be an awesome volunteer experience, don’t bother. It will do you more harm than...