I’ve been called upon to volunteer—sometimes under coercion.
One local non-profit organization asked that I help them with their yearly calling campaign to help with their annual fund. I agreed to help, count ‘em, three times.
My Volunteer Experience
My first two of these yearly attempts of calling donors didn’t fair too well. First, I was calling people who may or may not have given to the non-profit in the past. And, they were people that I didn’t even know.
I went to a “training” session, and was given a loose script to use in making the calls. They provided me with information on the programs the organization provided and how the donated funds would be used, plus numbers of people served.
My first problem was getting people to answer the phone. I’d leave a voicemail message if no one picked up the phone. I’m not sure anyone ever called back. And, many times I got a disconnected message.
My second problem was that I, as a volunteer, didn’t have passion when making calls with the materials provided by the organization. I knew it provided important services that could not be replaced. But, I just didn’t make my calls enthusiastically.
The Enthusiastic Volunteer
But then there was Brenda. Brenda oozed enthusiasm for this non-profit. Her daughter, like mine, benefited from two of the programs they offered. Not only did she make the calls they asked her to make. She also used social media asking for donations from friends/family. She made it personal by telling her story. I only know this because I even got her email requests.
The non-profit had a tally board with each volunteer’s name on it and how they moved towards the fundraising goals. Brenda’s name was at the top. Always.
The moral of this short story? People who are enthusiastic about your cause are your best tools. They can help you raise the funds you need. They can multiply excitement about your organization—even if they are volunteers.
In retrospect I think if I had scripted a story about my experience with the non-profit, and how it had helped my daughter, making the calls would have been easier.
Let people relay their story of how great your non-profit is. It moves hearts, and inspires them to give. Want to know more about inspiring donors to give to your ministry?