Fundraising volunteers speak out: Part 1

After last week’s focus on donors and what they have to say about their charitable contributions, I’ve decided to change the focus and ask volunteer solicitors to talk about their most rewarding solicitation experience and what needs to happen to keep them involved next year. Similar to last week, this week’s respondents answered an anonymous online survey that they learned about on various social media channels and from blast emails. I’ve picked four really awesome responses to share with you this week that I think provide excellent lessons for non-profit and fundraising professionals. Enjoy!!!

Again … the survey was anonymous because I wanted the truth, the whole truth and nothing up the truth. Here is what the today’s highlighted survey respondent said:

Question: Using the comment box below, please write a paragraph or two about your most rewarding solicitation experience (e.g. when you sat down eyeball-to-eyeball with someone else and asked them to consider making a charitable contribution). Why was it so rewarding for you? How did you feel going into the meeting? And what made you feel comfortable enough with doing such a solicitation?

Answer: A CEO of a local company reached out to me to learn more about our cause and how their involvement could benefit us. My initial meeting was a fact-finding session with their senior leadership team and was followed up by a personalized tour of our facility outlining all of the items we discussed in the initial meeting. The visit culminated with a comprehensive proposal that addressed their areas of interest. The outcome – score!  They are now funding several different initiatives and we have developed a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

Question: Understanding you are probably a very busy person, what does the charity that you’ve made some solicitation calls for need to do (or show you) in order to renew your commitment as a volunteer solicitor in the next fundraising campaign?

Answer: Provide me with the facts and outcomes of our program so that I am armed with answers to potential questions the funder will ask. And follow-through with the donor as requested after the solicitation . . . providing great stewardship.

OK … unlike last week when I couldn’t resist weighing in with my thoughts, I’m going to take a risk and ask YOU to weigh-in and share what you think the moral to the story is. And the risk I’m referring to is . . . no one is going to comment and all anyone will hear is the sound of cricketsPlease use the comment box below and remember that we can all learn from each other. I also encourage you to share links to resources that you’ve found on the internet.

Here is to your health!

Erik Anderson
Owner, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847


  1. Erik-
    I enjoyed your post and am wondering if you have any data on what size the organizations are that the responses were in reference to. I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a specific mention about having passion for the mission of the organization, which is what I expected when I read the question about what the “reward” was to the volunteer. We’ve found in our own organization that our most successful volunteers are also the most passionate about our cause. They are the most committed and the most diligent in follow-through, and boy can their passion serve to draw others to us! Of course, our responsibility, to them is indeed to “arm” them with information related to outcomes and questions people may have for them so they may respond to questions intelligently. In addition, we feel it is our responsibility to showing them frequently and in concrete ways how we appreciate their hard work and dedication, although I wonder if volunteers would agree about needing to be shown appreciation, as most of them are so passionate, they seem to intrinsically know they are appreciated.

    Excellent idea for a post! Can’t wait to read the next entry!

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