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Feb 17, 2020

The Hard Work of Volunteering

Seems like one of the constant topics in the nonprofit blogosphere is this idea of growing your donor base through providing volunteer opportunities.

My personal experience has been quite the opposite really.

Being an introverted analyst, I am always hesitant to volunteer for anything because that likely means some type of social interaction with strangers will be part of the experience. But last fall, I found a local organization that I was really interested in. I reached out to them, and they said they needed a long-term volunteer with a very particular skill set, one that I had and was excited to share. They were excited too.

Three-times I followed up with them to set a time to get started. And each time I heard the same thing: Someone will get right back to you.

And no one ever did.

Sadly, I don’t think my experience is that unique. One has to be very persistent to become a volunteer.

Now, I understand that people at nonprofits have a lot on their plates. I get that. But by not following through, I went from someone who was super interested in the organization to “forget them” in three short calls.

So, rather than volunteering being a path to becoming a donor, if an organization is not careful, it will became a shortcut to becoming a lapsed donor.

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In the past months, we have all been faced with uncertainty. It’s our new normal. And while there is often confusion today between what is truth and what is fiction, each nonprofit organization has a gold mine of certainty at their fingertips – their donor database....

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As I write this, we literally live in a world filled with uncertainty. While us analysts cannot predict the future of fundraising, we are pretty good at studying past donor behavior, and that can help us better understand how we should respond in times of uncertainty....

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Fundraising in the Time of Coronavirus

As all of anxiously watch the spread of COVID-19 from China to the rest of the globe, we are all holding our breath on how this is going to affect donor behavior. Fortunately, December 2019 giving was particularly strong for most organizations. However, early data...

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