Utilizing volunteers in advancement

Utilizing volunteers in advancement

Key takeaways 

  • Volunteers give, and they tend to give more than non-volunteers 
  • Volunteerism is a key strategy to getting millennials more involved in advancement 
  • If you ask for help supporting a well-aligned cause, volunteers will join

Volunteerism is a way for institutions to build engagement and affinity among friends and alumni to keep them “warm” for eventual solicitation down the road. Advancement executives need to recognize gifts of “time” and “talent” are likely to lead to financial gifts in the future. 

As a way to connect with every generation—perhaps most uniquely with millennials—volunteer opportunities unlock engagement from alumni, and studies show that active involvement of graduates at their alma mater encourages philanthropic support. 

According to the 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, most wealthy individuals believe charitable giving (45 percent) and volunteering (31 percent) have the greatest potential for positive impact on society. The report goes on to state that, among the wealthy, volunteering with a nonprofit organization has a strong correlation with giving to that organization. A large majority of high net worth individuals (84 percent) give financially to at least some of the organizations with which they volunteer, while 49 percent give to most, if not all, of the organizations where they volunteer. The report also shows a clear correlation between volunteering and the amount of philanthropic support. Wealthy individuals who volunteered in 2015 gave 56 percent more on average than those who did not volunteer. 

Discover why volunteer programming belongs in your institution’s advancement strategy and learn how to get started. 

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