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Podcast | Trend Talk: Rebuilding Volunteer Support

In this episode, we’re talking year-end trends with Nicholas Hedenkamp, Pursuant’s Insights Consultant. There were three big topics that recently caught our attention.

  1. Volunteerism

Recent studies show a lack of diversity in volunteerism. There are higher rates of volunteerism among white people than among people of color, although it may be that people of color donate their time in less formal ways. In addition, 84% of volunteer coordinators are white.

What does this mean? To encourage more people of color to seek volunteer leadership positions, nonprofits must look for opportunities to make it easier for people to get involved and understand the different ways their talents and perspectives can bring value to the mission.

Another study found that two-thirds of volunteer programs have decreased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many volunteers say they’ve lost communication with the nonprofits they were working with and don’t realize there are opportunities to get involved again.

To rebuild volunteer support, nonprofits can take a simple step: say thank you. Reach out to your volunteers with calls or emails, or even host a luncheon or dinner. Thank them for their support and update them on where your programs stand and what your needs are.

  1. Overhead and Budgeting

A recent study found nonprofits need to spend a third of their budget on overhead to thrive. It also noted that nonprofits that spend more on costs such as IT facilities, staff, equipment, and development tend to be more successful than those that don’t.

Now, this obviously varies depending on which sector you work in. But by investing in your organization, you can provide a better experience through your programs and services and for donors.

  1. Donor Loyalty

Always a popular topic, Nicholas discussed some strategies for strengthening donor loyalty. Some of the top tips:

  • Talk with donors, not at them. Ask for their opinions and learn more about their stories.
  • Be transparent. Make sure donors know the impact their gift is making.
  • Literally open your doors to your donors. Invite them in to see your work first-hand.
  • Make sure all donors are thanked, regardless of the size of their gift.

Listen to the full episode:

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