FundraisingVolunteer management

Volunteer Events: Creating Nonprofit Success With a Strong Structure

3 Mins read

Through volunteer events, nonprofits can have massive success in fundraising and creating a closer community and volunteer structure in your nonprofit. 

Volunteers can increase the scope and outreach of your events. They invite others and through their fundraising, raise both awareness and involvement. 

In this article we will discuss:

  1. What are volunteer events?
  2. How can you best leverage volunteers?
  3. How can Giveffect help?

  1. What are volunteer events?

Volunteer events are events that heavily involve and depend on volunteers for fundraising and/or support. A classic example of an event is a walk event where volunteers are both fundraising and helping out with the setup and execution of the event. 

To fundraise, the volunteers reach out to their local communities and ask for donations and more members to participate. It’s not uncommon that one event volunteer can often get other family members and friends to join and help the cause. 

Leading up to the day of the event, you can reach out to your core group of volunteers and ask that they help set up and manage the event. Some volunteers may even have experience and materials to help set up events, and you can ask if they can serve as volunteer managers to help coordinate the setup. 

A great example of an event is the Gelatin Plunge (with video of page) held by Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. This event gets volunteers to raise money to be able to participate in a “plunge” down a slide into a pool filled with 2,000 gallons of orange gelatin. 

Since it started in 2013 the event has raised over $650,000 for the Children’s Cancer Center. 

Let’s look a little more closely at how an event like this creates a successful event. 

  1. How can you best leverage volunteers?

Working closely with your volunteers is critical to properly leveraging them in your events. Learning their skills and abilities allows you to best understand what skills they can offer for an event. As discussed above, some may have experience in setting up events or management, and those are fantastic skills to utilize during the setup of the actual event. 

Others may have experience with fundraising or people management, and you can also leverage their experience to help guide other volunteers during the fundraising. 

You can also offer training sessions for all volunteers to make sure they are familiar with your nonprofit, your fundraising styles, and the event. 

Another way to leverage volunteers is to give them some control over their process. Allow them to manage their own schedules and set responsibilities. A scheduling program that both your nonprofit and your volunteers can access is a great way to make scheduling more efficient. It can also include things like a waitlist and reservations, which can help coordinate schedules if some volunteers reschedule their time periods. 

It is also fantastic for volunteers who are fundraising to provide each one with their own fundraising page. The volunteers at the Gelatin Plunge each had their own individual fundraising goals and their own fundraising web page to receive donations and keep track of their goals.  They had to meet certain fundraising goals to participate in the event. 

Event apps for mobile devices is another way to help volunteer events. These apps can help sign in both volunteers and participants during the day of the event, track volunteer hours, and much more. 

  1. How can Giveffect help?

Giveffect offers an all-in-one system that provides all of these services and more to support volunteer events:

  1. A custom volunteer management system that keeps track of your volunteers, their work hours, any special skills they have, and much more. 
  2. A volunteer scheduling system that volunteers can access online to set and manage their own schedules. 
  3. Event pages that allow you to host and manage events online, and tracking tools to help you track event fundraising, signups, and more. 
  4. Individual fundraising pages for volunteers that they can use to garner and track donations. 
  5. An event app, called Eventbuddy, allows you to sign in volunteers and attendees at events from any mobile device. It can also track volunteers who sign out. Learn more about our custom app.
  6. An email system that allows easy communication and updates with any volunteer group or event group.

These services allow nonprofits to focus on creating a better event, rather than spend hours on volunteer management. And our clients agree:

“The ease of volunteer signups, sign-ins, campaigns, email blasts, and event buddy. I like that we can categorize and organize all of our contacts and volunteers. Makes tracking hours easier under specific criteria. It will save time and make your job of coordinating people 10x easier!”

Oliver W.

Small nonprofit

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