Listen and You Will See

Listen and You Will See

Anyone who works for a nonprofit organization knows that asking for volunteers and donors to support your organization is a complicated process.

Amanda Luzzader
Amanda Luzzader
Content Writer
Listen and You Will See

Anyone who works for a nonprofit organization knows that asking for volunteers and donors to support your organization is a complicated process.

This article will suggest that the process should probably be even more complicated.

When asking for effort and funding, you must first ensure that your volunteers and donors clearly see your organization. Who are you? What do you do? What is your mission statement?

Next, you must make your potential volunteers and donors specifically aware of what they'll be helping with. What is the program? What problem will it tackle? Whom will it benefit?

There are, of course, many other elements that you must make clear to your donors, such as the processes by which they may easily and efficiently get involved.

Finally, someone must transform these disparate pieces of information into the proposal---a brief, smooth, and hopefully irresistible pitch that can be passed along in person, online, and in print marketing.

All of these and more are absolutely necessary to attract volunteers and money to your cause, but sometimes it's easy to forget a very important step:

Before you ask, you must listen to the members of our volunteer and donor pool.

And you must listen very carefully. Why? Because when donors consider donating or helping, they must not only clearly see your organization---they must see themselves. Exactly who are your potential donors? Who are your volunteers? What are their opinions, values, and ideas? What are they passionate about?

In other words, in what ways might they see themselves reflected in your organization?

Here are a few questions you might ask to ask to find out:

1. What are the problems you would most like to see effectively addressed in our community and nation (e.g., homelessness, illiteracy, substance abuse)?

2. Do you find it easy to sign-up, volunteer, and donate? If not, how could it be made easier?

3. Can you think of a story that motivated you to get involved as a donor or volunteer in a social cause?

4. What are your most important personal values or beliefs, and how do these guide your philanthropic efforts?

5. How do you want to be thought of by friends, family members, and peers? How would you like to be remembered?

By asking these types of questions (perhaps with easy-to-use and efficient data-gathering tools such as the Pulse For Good Kiosk program), you can ensure your potential supporters not only see your organization, but that they clearly see themselves.