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How to engage donors as volunteers

Posted January 4, 2024 by Virginia Davidson

engage donors as volunteers

Looking for ways to strengthen your donors’ engagement with your nonprofit organization? Consider engaging your donors as volunteers. This not only benefits your organization but also increases your donors’ understanding of what it takes to achieve your mission.

Here are three reasons why it’s great to engage donors as volunteers, and three ways you can encourage it:

  1. If a donor is no longer able to support your organization financially, it doesn’t mean their investment has to end. When a donor also contributes their time as a volunteer, they can remain involved even if their financial circumstances change.
  2. Fundraising solicitations don’t necessarily reveal all the work that is involved in an organization’s mission. When donors get involved as volunteers, they can better appreciate what it takes to fulfill your mission.
  3. Your donors can be more effective advocates for your mission when they can speak from their first-hand experiences as volunteers. This means they can increase awareness and support through conversations with friends, neighbors, and family.

Now that you know why it’s important to engage donors as volunteers, here are three ways you can encourage them to do so:

  1. Use a donor management system like Little Green Light to track gifts as well as volunteer time. That way, you’ll be able to identify the ways in which constituents are engaging with your organization and send targeted communications to donors who are not already volunteering.
  2. Offer a variety of volunteer opportunities with a range of time commitments. Geng Wang from Civic Champs recommends including micro-volunteer opportunities, which are “shorter, more specialized volunteer activities that require less than one hour and allow you to engage or stay engaged with a wider audience.”
  3. Highlight constituents who support you as both donors and volunteers. Profile these special supporters in your newsletter to inspire others to be involved.


Engaging your donors as volunteers is an important way to deepen and lengthen their relationship with your organization. If you’re looking for other ways to strengthen your volunteer program, sign up for any or all of the three-part webinar series that starts on January 17 with Little Green Light and Civic Champs: “Learn how to maximize the use of volunteers at your nonprofit”.

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