When your members joined your sorority or fraternity, they gained many brothers or sisters, both those currently involved and those who had graduated. Leveraging alumni giving is a powerful way to not only raise money for your chapter but also strengthen your community’s bonds across age groups and other demographics.

Paying forward the aid your alumni received when they were in college is a powerful case for support. But you need to do more to convince your graduated members to become loyal, long-term donors. Let’s explore how to reignite your alumni’s passion for philanthropy and, in the process, fortify your familial relationships with your brothers and sisters.

1. Appeal to your alumni’s emotions

Appealing to your donors’ emotions and sense of moral responsibility is an essential fundraising tactic. As a fraternity or sorority leader, you’re in a unique position to conjure powerful emotional memories all of your alumni share: their time spent with your chapter.

One of the best ways you can inspire alumni support is with the “pay it forward” case for support. They might not have known it at the time, but your brothers’ and sisters’ experiences were also fueled by alumni giving.

When communicating with your prospects, reference any chapter traditions or shared experiences your alumni have with current members. Then, tell your alumni that these traditions are fueled by their support, just as when they were in school. To boost your claims, take quotes from your active members about how much their gifts mean to them and how they shape their college experiences. Donors respond well to appeals they can relate to, so evoking a shared memory will tug at their heartstrings.

2. Segment your communication

While appealing to shared experiences is an essential fundraising strategy, your alumni community isn’t a monolith. It’s also helpful to align your asks with specific groups of alumni for a more personalized approach. Create several alumni segments based on demographics such as:

  • Graduation year
  • Major
  • Existing relationship with your chapter
  • Role within the chapter
  • Preferred mode of communication

According to NPOInfo, your segmentation strategy will only work if you keep accurate and organized alumni data. Start by sending out surveys to alumni that sort them into a segment. Then, keep the data in your CRM and update it when necessary. It might take time to build out a comprehensive dataset, but you’ll have a richer and more customized segmentation strategy.

Once you’ve collected your data and determined your segments, craft messages that align with each group’s preferences and interests. Remember to use multiple forms of communication to reach out to your alumni, such as email, letters, phone calls, and text messages.

3. Enlist the help of your current members

While your chapter’s leadership team spearheads your fundraisers, they shouldn’t be the only ones contributing to your efforts. Rally your active members to pitch in by offering easy ways to participate. You might make fundraising participation part of their philanthropic responsibilities to your chapter. Or, you can offer perks for joining in, such as free meals or branded merchandise.

Once you’ve rallied your active members, assign them roles based on their skills, interests, and availability. Some ways they could help out include:

  • Running a fundraising booth at a reunion
  • Writing and sending fundraising letters
  • Helping operate fundraising events
  • Posting fundraising appeals and event promotions on social media

Including your current members in alumni outreach is only an effective strategy if you stay organized. According to OmegaFi, sorority and fraternity management software is the best way to keep your members on the same page. It allows you to send messages to your chapter about their responsibilities in executing upcoming events.

4. Offer numerous ways to give

The best way to capture the most potential givers is to offer numerous ways to contribute. For instance, a recently graduated brother or sister might not have the funds to donate right now, but they can give their time as a volunteer for your next philanthropy event. Here are some alternative giving options to offer to your alumni:

  • Volunteering
  • Donating in-kind gifts
  • Providing pro bono services
  • Setting up a planned gift
  • Donating non-cash assets like stocks

Highlight these other ways to give on your fundraising materials so you can capture as much support as possible for your chapter.

5. Educate them about matching gifts

Billions in matching gift revenue go unclaimed each year. This is mainly due to donors’ lack of knowledge of their employees’ matching gift programs. But once a donor knows their gift can be matched, 84% of them are more likely to give. Thus, your nonprofit has a vested interest in educating your alumni about matching gifts and facilitating the giving process for them.

Using a powerful and user-friendly matching gift software solution is the best way to boost your matching gift rate. This software should be able to integrate with your online donation form so your donors can easily check if their company matches gifts while they’re giving. The best software options are those with the auto-submission capability, which allows your alumni to check their company’s matching gift policy and submit the request at the same time. Ensure you’re always mentioning matching gift opportunities to your alumni during fundraisers so they’re more likely to contribute to your chapter.

6. Take their feedback into account

Your alumni outreach efforts are more likely to be effective if you tailor them to your alumni’s preferences. The best way to do this is by asking them directly about their opinions on various topics, such as:

  • Preferred mode of communication
  • Event format (in-person, hybrid, or fully remote)
  • Event theme/type of events desired in the future
  • Fundraising area of focus
  • Type of giving (volunteering, in-kind gifts, or monetary gifts)
  • Interest in future involvement (such as being on a panel or joining the board of your alumni association)

Send surveys throughout the year to gauge your alumni’s interest in these areas. The best time to send out surveys is right after a fundraising event so their feedback is fresh. Then, work with your leaders to determine any patterns in the data and which changes are the most feasible.

7. Say thank you

Once your alumni have participated in fundraising events and campaigns, don’t cease communications yet. Always thank your alumni for any type of engagement, whether that’s filling out a feedback survey, donating, or volunteering. Sending thank you letters is a simple yet powerful way to make your alumni feel valued.

You don’t have to write a novel for each alumni recipient, either. Use a letter template for the body of your letter. For your larger donors, consider including a handwritten component on the letter thanking them personally for their support. This customized outreach shows your alumni that you’re committed to your relationship and that you put in extra work to recognize them.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, your alumni want to see your chapter succeed. Showing them how they can help and displaying your appreciation when they do are essential to deepening your relationships with them. As long as you put effort into stewarding your alumni, you’ll turn them into passionate donors in no time!

Author: Mathew Tooker

Mathew Tooker is an expert in sales forecasting, analytics, goal-setting, client growth, and business development. With experience serving the Greek life community, nonprofits, and other member-based associations, Mathew is dedicated to providing tremendous value to his clients.

When he’s not moving organizations forward, you can find him on the golf course, spending time with his two dogs, Reagan and Teddy, running marathons, and watching the Atlanta Braves. He’s also a graduate of Auburn University and a part-time MBA student at Florida State University.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “the golden arches?” Whatever image your brain conjures, one thing’s certain: you associate McDonald’s with this phrase. This nickname stems from the chain’s iconic logo, one of the most recognizable in the world. Logos have the potential to associate favorable qualities with your brands, such as McDonalds’ salty fries or crispy chicken nuggets. 

Though logo creation is usually associated with the for-profit sector, your nonprofit can benefit from strong branding as well. If your organization hasn’t created a logo yet, you’re missing out on the valuable prospect of brand recognition. This guide will help you make a nonprofit logo that stands the test of time and cements your presence in your community. 

Table of contents:

Nonprofit Logo FAQ

Before we discuss tools to build your nonprofit’s logo, let’s answer some of the questions you may have about the purpose of nonprofit branding and logo creation. 

What is nonprofit branding?

While nonprofits have many differences from for-profits, the importance of their brand is a significant similarity. Your brand is your nonprofit’s identity that you showcase to set you apart. It represents a variety of messages, including your mission statement, vision statement,  story, and initiatives. 

Your branding also includes aesthetic elements like your logos, graphic designs, colors, and fonts. It should be attractive and inviting to your viewer. It should be simple and meaningful so that anyone can pick up your organization’s spirit.

You should be purposeful about your organization’s branding strategy and prioritize certain traits. Here are some of the characteristics that should come across in your branding:

  • Professional
  • Personable
  • Reputable
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Grateful
  • Selfless

This is only a handful of the attributes that you can capture with your branding. Whatever you choose to channel, ensure that it’s a holistic representation of your organization’s values, personality, and professionalism.

What’s the difference between a logo and branding?

Having a strong and cohesive brand is necessary to forge a positive initial reaction from your viewer. Moreover, all the human brain takes is a tenth of a second to form its first impression, so you have little room for error. Your logo is a part of your overall branding strategy, but it’s extra important because of how many eyes are on it. Logos use aspects of your branding like font and color scheme to establish a strong connection to your organization as soon as your viewer takes in your logo.

Think of your branding as your outward composure, and all of your viewers are strangers meeting you for the first time. In many instances, your logo functions as a greeting, the first hint of your brand your viewer gets.

What is graphic design?

Nonprofit graphic design is the combination of text and pictures to convey information or branding. According to Top Nonprofits, “images are powerful because they can communicate what words cannot. They can not only fortify your brand identity, but they can also communicate to your audience in a meaningful way.” You can use graphic design to transcend language barriers and catalyze audience growth.

You’ll need to use graphic design concepts to develop your logo. If you aren’t a design professional, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The tools in this article will help you build a logo, no matter your previous experience with graphics.

What’s the purpose of your nonprofit logo?

What would the American Red Cross be without its eponymous emblem or the World Wildlife Fund without that cute panda? Logos are bite-sized symbols of your organization meant to leave your footprint across both the internet and your physical community.

As such, logos are a core part of every nonprofit’s branding strategy and are essential for building up recognition and trust. Plus, logos can be used to build cohesive marketing campaigns, even when you’re communicating with supporters are multiple, disparate platforms. For instance, they can be used to bring your unique presence to materials, such as: 

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Signs
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Social media profiles
  • Promotional merchandise

All of the world’s top nonprofits have recognizable logos, which has helped them spread their reach on a global scale. It’s a versatile marketing tool that you must have in your arsenal to make your organization a thought leader in your space and beyond.

Nonprofit Logo Examples

Let’s take a look at some effective nonprofit logos to give you an idea of what to prioritize.

This is the New York Peace Institute nonprofit logo. It showcases two overlapping speech bubbles. This is a great nonprofit logo because it’s memorable and related to their brand of promoting peaceful discourse.

Why we love this logo: The New York Peace Institute’s logo reflects its mission perfectly. The overlapping speech bubbles represent the amicable discourse that the NYPI champions. The white bubble in the center represents a middle ground where the two opposing sides can understand each other.

this is the Mentoring Project’s nonprofit logo. It showcases two overlapping elephants, one smaller than the other, following in the larger one’s shadow. This is a great nonprofit logo because it’s unique and visually conveys what the nonprofit does.

Why we love this logo: What’s not to love about this logo? The bigger elephant is shown guiding the smaller elephant, which encompasses the mentoring project’s mission of supporting young people through tumultuous times. The design is simple and easily comprehensible. Plus, look how adorable those elephants are! 

this is the National Wildlife Federation’s nonprofit logo. It showcases a raccoon’s silhouette in a forest wearing a ranger hat. This is a great nonprofit logo because it’s memorable and visually brings together rangers and animals, which is what the nonprofit does.

Why we love this logo: This logo for the national wildlife federation is another great example of nonprofit branding. It’s shaped like a governmental seal, which implicitly establishes the organization’s credibility. The inclusion of the ranger’s hat on the raccoon hints at a deep connection between humans and animals that the federation advocates for.

this is United Way’s nonprofit logo. It showcases open hands holding a stick figure with their arms outstretched. This is a great nonprofit logo because it’s striking, warm, and visually shows the organization supporting the individual, which is what the nonprofit does every day.

Why we love this logo: If you’re in the nonprofit sector, you’re probably already familiar with this iconic logo. United Way is one of the foremost nonprofit organizations in the United States, and its branding lends to its success. Though there are hundreds of chapters across the country, their branding is consistent and identifiable. The logo itself is colorful and welcoming, conveying a sense of warmth to people who know nothing about the organization.

Now that you understand the importance of branding and creating a powerful logo, it’s time to get creative!

Tools to Create Your Nonprofit Logo

The process of creating visual branding like logos can be an intimidating undertaking, especially if you aren’t experienced in digital design. Thankfully, there are thousands of graphic design services available to help you make a fantastic logo. Plus, if you’re creating it yourself, you’ll find that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; 95% of leading brand logos only have one or two colors in their logo. We’ll discuss what makes each platform unique so that you can decide which is best for you. 

Tool #1: Kwala

Kwala nonprofit logo

Overview: Kwala’s an all-in-one platform that specializes in all things nonprofit graphic design. Unlike many for-profit design platforms, Kwala specifically targets nonprofit organizations. This service will put your nonprofit in contact with a graphic designer. Once you’ve determined they’re a good fit, they’ll provide comprehensive graphic design services on a monthly basis with unlimited edits.

What it specializes in: Kwala creates designs for many parts of the nonprofit branding process. Beyond creating logos, they make designs for multiple products, such as t-shirts, flyers, table runners, yard signs, stickers, and posters. They also have an educational blog so that you can learn more about the importance of graphic design.

Why we love this provider: Kwala isn’t just another graphic design platform: this team believes in the nonprofit sector’s power to change the world. Kwala acknowledges that many nonprofits don’t have the time or resources to afford quality graphic design services despite their utility. The Kwala team understands just how much time and effort goes into running a nonprofit, so their process is streamlined to help you achieve your mission and broaden your audience. 

Kwala understands the power of graphic design logos and the value of showcasing your work in a clean, artistic way to appeal to donors. The team advocates for small businesses and nonprofits by providing them with excellent graphics to compete with larger competitors. Because of their experience in the nonprofit industry, they know which designs appeal to donors.

If your nonprofit is looking for a logo provider with a personalized and professional approach, Kwala is your graphic design solution. 

Tool #2: Canva

Canva nonprofit logo

Overview: If you’ve ever looked into design apps for social media posts, chances are you’ve heard of this platform. Canva is a popular graphic design service that has over 60 million users across the world. It provides premade templates alongside the capability to make graphics from scratch.

What it specializes in: The majority of Canva users use it for creating social media content. They offer templates for numerous types of content, such as infographics and event flyers. Plus, you can resize the templates to be optimized for any social media platform or post types, like stories or feed updates.

In recent years, Canva expanded its offerings to cover many parts of the branding process. Here are some materials that you can make on the platform:

  • Logos
  • Flyers
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Resumes
  • Invitations
  • Business cards
  • Collages
  • Graphs

As you can see, Canva is a one-stop shop for your self-created graphic design needs. 

Why we love this service: Canva is a great logo maker because it’s so accessible, no matter your career or expertise. It appeals to a range of skill sets by supplying multiple levels of graphic design services. Additionally, it offers several tiers of advanced tools via different levels of payment plans. 

As for logo making itself, Canva has little to no barriers to entry. The platform has a community tab where you can view what other users have created, which is a great place to draw inspiration from nonprofits that you admire. It also has a specific tool to guide you through the logo creation process. This tool makes it simple to channel your brand identity into an impressive logo.

Though the service doesn’t cater specifically to nonprofits, the Canva team still understands the need for graphic design in the nonprofit sector. It wants to reward nonprofits by offering their pro features for free. Consider taking advantage of this discount to access all of the tools Canva has to offer. 

Tool #3: DesignMantic

designmantic nonprofit logo

Overview: DesignMantic is a graphic design platform that allows you to create a logo design. The platform will automatically generate logo designs based on your organization’s name and focus area, and you can change the design until you’re happy with it. Plus, you can request as many logos as you want until you’ve found the right one. Once you’ve decided which design you want, you pay a fee for complete ownership of the logo.

What it specializes in: DesignMantic is primarily a logo-generating service, but it also creates templates for t-shirts, flyers, and websites. 

Why we love this service: This service is great because of how accessible, fast, and user-friendly it is. The only information you need to provide is your nonprofit’s name and focus area, and it will instantly provide hundreds of contenders. This system ensures that your logo will be relevant to your nonprofit’s area of expertise. 

Like Canva, this platform isn’t tailored around nonprofit needs, but it still offers them valuable deals. If your organization applies to DesignMantic in advance, you can keep your favorite logo without paying the ownership fee. So, if your organization is on the go and looking for an inexpensive and quick logo solution, DesignMantic is your best bet!

Tool #4: Adobe Express

adobe express nonprofit logo

Overview: If you haven’t heard of any other services on this list, you probably at least know this one. The Adobe Creative Cloud is a juggernaut in the digital creation space, boasting over 26 million paid users around the world. While many Adobe programs are known (and, in some circles, infamous) for their complexity and priciness, there’s an answer for less tech-savvy users who still want to take advantage of industry-grade tools. 

Adobe Express is perfect for beginner graphic designers who don’t need all the bells and whistles. It’s a web and mobile app that allows you to create a myriad of graphics and other branded elements. It brings together the best features of other Adobe products such as Photoshop, Premiere, and Acrobat and streamlines the design process.

What it specializes in: Despite its name, Adobe Express is anything but hasty. The platform includes templates for nearly any purpose or event, and logos are no exception! It gives you access to millions of stock photos, thousands of fonts, and integration with other Creative Cloud products. Similar to Canva, Express offers a custom logo creator as one of its features. Best of all, this powerful tool fits in the palm of your hand with its mobile accessibility.

Why we love this service: Adobe products are the gold standard for digital design, and Express opens these tools to a wider user base. From its mobile-friendliness to its ready-to-use templates, this platform is highly accessible but still robust enough to enhance your digital design portfolio. 

If your nonprofit wants more features than what Adobe Express offers, you’re in luck: nonprofits can apply for a discount on all Adobe paid products. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and explore this expansive logo solution, now’s the time!

The Bottom Line

Now that some of your questions are answered and you have logo design options to pursue, you should confer with your team to decide which solution best fits your branding needs. If you need further information to help you choose, explore the service’s website or speak to a representative. You can even look at other examples of nonprofit graphic design to jumpstart your creative process. 

Whichever branding you develop and the platform you pick, always allow your mission, vision, and values to inform your decisions. Likewise, if you work with an external graphic designer, ensure that they have a firm grasp of what makes your organization tick so that they can best represent your interests. With a cohesive brand identity and logo design, your organization will not only be seen but recognized and appreciated, which is exactly what it deserves.

Additional Resources

Do you want to learn more about nonprofit branding strategies, graphic design, and visual communication? Check out some of these resources to deepen your understanding of these concepts.

Consider this question: Would you want to participate in your organization’s volunteer opportunities? Take a moment to think about it, and be honest with yourself. If the answer is yes, you’re probably doing a great job of making your volunteer opportunities enticing and engaging. But if the answer is no, you likely have some work to do to make your volunteer program more appealing.

That might sound like a challenging task, but making your volunteer program more attractive to prospective supporters is simpler than you might think. It starts with creating an open line of communication with volunteers, listening to their feedback, and planning opportunities that align with their preferences and interests.

Specifically, we’ll take a closer look at four effective ways to make your volunteer program more appealing for current and prospective volunteers:

  1. Match volunteers with their preferred roles.
  2. Design an engaging orientation process.
  3. Plan virtual volunteer opportunities.
  4. Offer exciting appreciation initiatives.

InitLive’s volunteer engagement guide says it best: “Keeping your volunteers happy, motivated, and engaged in your organization’s mission is a key part of longer-term volunteer retention and program success.” These strategies are intended to keep volunteers engaged in your mission by offering unique, convenient, interesting volunteer opportunities that volunteers won’t experience at any other organization. Let’s dive in!

1. Match volunteers with their preferred roles.

Picture this: A new volunteer registers for an upcoming volunteer opportunity, eager to put their skills to work to help further their favorite nonprofit’s mission. The reason they signed up is that they noticed one of the volunteer roles matches their skills and interests.

However, on the day of the volunteer opportunity, the volunteer is assigned a different role. They’re still willing to help out, but disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to leverage their unique skill set.

What happened here? The organization didn’t have a plan in place for matching volunteers with their preferred roles. If your organization is in a similar situation, you might be bypassing an opportunity to engage volunteers more deeply in your work. Plus, you could be missing out on the ability to capitalize on volunteers’ unique skills, which can allow them to contribute more productively to your goals.

So, how can you ensure you’re appealing to volunteers’ preferences and making the most of their engagement? Use this three-step process, with the help of your volunteer management system and communication tools:

  1. When volunteers register, ask them to fill out a quick survey with their skills, interests, and shift preferences.
  2. Store this information using your volunteer management software and leverage it to match volunteers with the right roles. Robust volunteer management software will handle role-matching automatically using the information stored in volunteers’ profiles.
  3. Send email communications highlighting upcoming opportunities that align with volunteers’ interests and availability.

Volunteers will appreciate your efforts to go above and beyond to offer them experiences that align with their preferences. This can help increase both volunteer engagement and volunteer retention, enabling you to continue to get to know volunteers, build long-term relationships with them, and cater to their needs.

And, when everyone’s participating in a role that suits them best, your volunteer program will function more smoothly and productively.

2. Design an engaging orientation process.

Put yourself in your new volunteers’ shoes and consider how they might feel after registering for a volunteer opportunity. They’re completely new to your program and mission, and may not be familiar with what the opportunity will entail or what’s expected of them. This can be pretty intimidating for first-time participants!

That’s why it’s important to put new volunteers at ease with a thorough, hands-on orientation and training process. Your training program should set volunteers up for success so that they feel completely comfortable engaging in your opportunities.

Whether your training program is a quick one-on-one orientation at the start of each opportunity or a full-fledged onboarding session, you should use the time to equip volunteers with everything they need to know to be successful. Incorporate these key elements into your training program:

  • Host fun icebreaker activities to get to know volunteers and allow them to meet one another. This helps volunteers feel welcomed and can lead to greater camaraderie and teamwork among participants.
  • Provide a thorough overview of your roles and associated tasks. Describe each volunteer position and what it entails, including any equipment volunteers will use or individuals they’ll be interacting with (such as fellow volunteers, your program coordinator, shift leader, etc.).
  • Allow volunteers to participate in hands-on activities to get familiar with your equipment or processes. For instance, introduce them to your online environmental-tracking database and practice data-entry procedures, or allow them to practice proper painting techniques so they can help construct a new house for a community member.
  • Review your volunteer policies and handbook. Ensure all volunteers are clear on various policies such as your screening policy, code of conduct, and dismissal policy.
  • Provide contact information for the person volunteers can go to with questions. Equip your volunteers with your contact information or the information for the individual they should get in touch with if they have questions before or during the volunteer opportunity.

When volunteers know exactly what they should be doing and how to carry out their assigned tasks, they’ll feel more comfortable in your program, encouraging them to continue engaging in your opportunities. Plus, they may even talk with their family members and friends about their positive training experiences, contributing to more volunteer recruitment for your program.

3. Plan virtual volunteer opportunities.

One of the most common reasons why volunteers lapse is because they simply don’t have enough room in their schedules to add additional responsibilities to the list. By making your volunteer opportunities more convenient, you can subsequently make them more appealing to prospective and current participants.

One of the most effective ways to increase the convenience of your volunteer program is to offer a variety of virtual volunteer opportunities. Virtual volunteering allows your volunteers to cut out the commute, saving them time. They can participate in these opportunities on their own time and make their own schedules.

Plus, virtual volunteer opportunities make your program more accessible for volunteers who might have transportation or mobility restrictions.

Here are a few examples of virtual volunteer opportunities you might offer supporters:

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising opportunities. Encourage volunteers to create their own peer-to-peer fundraising pages and gather donations from family members and friends to support your volunteer program. You might launch your P2P initiative alongside a social media challenge to engage participants and encourage them to get their loved ones involved. This can help increase awareness of your volunteer program while giving supporters a chance to deepen their involvement.
  • Virtual helpline. If your organization operates a virtual helpline for community members, get your volunteers involved to help out. After properly training volunteers on communication best practices and what to do in different situations, create ongoing shifts for them to manage the helpline.
  • Web design. If you’re thinking about updating your volunteer program’s website, your volunteers themselves can help the process along. After all, they’re your website’s main audience, so their opinions and feedback can play a major role in shaping your web design. Ask volunteers to fill out a survey providing feedback on everything from the site’s branding to its functionality. You can even engage digitally-savvy volunteers to help complete the updates if you don’t have a dedicated web designer on staff.
  • Virtual events. Perhaps your organization hosts annual virtual events such as an online auction or live-streamed concert. Your volunteers can lend a hand by helping to keep track of bids, run the event livestream, or design and spread your event marketing materials.

Volunteers will appreciate having the ability to help out from the comfort of home. What’s more appealing than being able to participate in volunteer activities while wearing your pajamas?

However, volunteers might be less familiar with the concept of virtual volunteering, so it’s important to clearly communicate what each opportunity will entail. Double the Donation’s volunteer management guide recommends highlighting the baseline tasks for each role as well as the ideal outcomes that volunteers will achieve.

For instance, if your volunteers are participating in a virtual phone bank to help raise funding for your program, you should explain exactly how they’ll connect with prospective donors (such as via phone or text), provide them with a script, and let them know what the specific fundraising goal is (i.e. $10,000).

This ensures that volunteers feel completely comfortable in their roles, even when they aren’t participating or receiving training in person. Plus, they’ll be able to understand the bigger picture of how their actions help progress your organization’s mission.

4. Offer exciting appreciation initiatives.

People volunteer because they believe in an organization’s mission and want to demonstrate their support. Most don’t expect anything in return, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate the occasional gesture of gratitude.

When you offer volunteers heartfelt messages and tokens of appreciation, they feel acknowledged and appreciated for the hard work they contributed. This makes your program more appealing and encourages volunteers to continue engaging and putting their best foot forward during volunteer events.

Just as you thank your donors, corporate sponsors, and other stakeholders, you should create a dedicated strategy for expressing appreciation to volunteers. Offer these tokens of gratitude to your volunteers:

  • Handwritten letters from community members.
  • Tangible appreciation gifts, such as branded T-shirts, water bottles, or tote bags.
  • Gift cards or free event tickets.
  • Regular impact reports that show the positive impact of volunteer work on your mission.
  • Endorsements for professional opportunities.
  • Access to networking opportunities or professional introductions.

A strong appreciation strategy allows you to continue engaging volunteers over time, ensuring you’re investing in long-term relationships with volunteers. Volunteers will feel the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing that their efforts are appreciated by your organization and that they make a real difference.

Plus, volunteers who have worked with your organization for a long period of time may be able to help you out even more with corporate volunteer grants. Essentially, corporate volunteer grants are donations your volunteers’ employers will make after their employees work a certain number of hours and submit a grant application form. This means volunteers you have a long-term relationship with and want to help your nonprofit however they can have one more method to do so, earning your nonprofit free revenue.

If you’re not interested in participating in your volunteer opportunities, how can you expect your supporters to be? By making your volunteer opportunities more relevant, convenient, and rewarding for participants, you can increase their interest in your program and ensure their long-term engagement. Good luck!

Is your nonprofit making the most of its fundraising opportunities? With employer appends, you can use donor data to improve fundraising efforts.

Employer appends use donor data to give nonprofits information about their donors’ employers. This includes information about matching gift programs, a corporate social responsibility program that allows your donors to double gifts at no extra cost. The employer append process can be a challenge if you’re taking it on alone, but there are plenty of great services to consider.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert in data-driven fundraising, this guide is a great resource for your nonprofit. In this piece we’ll discuss:

Employer appends could be the thing your nonprofit needs to elevate its fundraising efforts and boost revenue. Let’s get started with an overview of employer appends.

Find out what to do if you are interested in employer appends for nonprofits.

What are employer appends?

Employer appends add data about donors to your organization’s existing database. More specifically, these appends include information about donors’ employers.

The insights found through employer appends are beneficial to nonprofits in many ways. The main advantage for nonprofits is identifying possible corporate social responsibility (CSR) opportunities.

Employer appends are easy to understand, but it may not be clear why they are important. The next sections focus on why employer appends are valuable and what you need to get started.

Why are employer appends valuable?

Capitalizing on CSR opportunities is one of the biggest reasons to use employers appends. But, employer appends offer other valuable insights. Pieces of information like a donor’s job title or their general industry can provide valuable information as well.

Here’s how the main pieces of information provided by an employer append can boost fundraising for your nonprofit:

  • Employer name: Learning a donor’s employer’s name unlocks a wealth of information about their CSR programs. Once you have access to this information, your organization can research how the employer makes good on its CSR promise. For example, if you discover that many of your donors work at the same employer and consider asking that employer to host a sponsored event with your nonprofit.
  • Job title: A donor’s job title gives away a lot of information about them. First, their position indicates how much leverage they have at work— would they be the appropriate avenue for a possible partnership? Second, their role can roughly demonstrate the donor’s financial giving capacity.
  • Matching gift information: This information tells you whether a donor’s employer offers a matching gift program. These programs fall under the umbrella of CSR and mean that employers will match their employees’ gifts to nonprofits. If you and your donors are aware of these programs, your organization can double revenue at no extra cost to you or the donor.

Learn these key insights by simply running an employer append. Then, your nonprofit can begin to capitalize on CSR opportunities and learn more about its supporters.

What is needed for an employer append?

Employer appends supplement the donor data you already have. But, there are a few pieces of data you need before getting started. The most important donor information is donor email and mailing addresses. If you don’t have this information, check out NPOInfo’s email and address append services.

These are the 8 pieces of data that make employer appends highly accurate.

While these basic pieces of data are the most important, many data appending services ask for more data points. Typically, the more data you can provide, the more accurate the employer append will be. This includes information such as:

  • Unique donor ID number
  • Donor name
  • Region of residence
  • Phone number
  • College or university attended
  • Graduation year
  • Most recent gift amount
  • Most recent gift date

Don’t worry if your nonprofit doesn’t have every data point on this list as they aren’t all necessary. However, you can keep these data points in mind as you gather more donor data going forward, to boost the accuracy of any future employer appends.

Keeping data clean and organized can also expedite the employer append process. Data hygiene refers to taking steps to regularly clean data, making it more efficient to analyze. Good data hygiene includes practices like removing outdated or irrelevant data, maintaining a standard means of data entry, and keeping data organized.

Employer Appends for Nonprofits: Using Donor Data in Fundraising

Donor data shouldn’t go untouched on your organization’s computers, especially when it can be so useful. There are plenty of practical ways to use donor data in your fundraising strategy. Investing in donor data analysis will be reflected in increased fundraising opportunities and revenue.

Fundraising Data Analytics

This explains what fundraising data analytics are.
Fundraising data analytics uses donor data to recognize patterns and trends. These patterns inform nonprofits about how to shape or adjust their fundraising strategies. Good donor data is the foundation that fundraising data analytics is built on, so data upkeep should be a priority.

Within fundraising data analytics, there are three distinct types. Here is a quick breakdown of the three types of fundraising data analytics:

  • Descriptive fundraising analytics: Donor data is used to classify donors. These classifications are usually made based on demographic information like age. Other factors like average gift size can also be used to group donors by their willingness to give.
  • Predictive fundraising analytics: Predictive analytics are used to predict donors’ giving behaviors. These predictions are made based on past behaviors. Often, they use metrics like growth in donation size.
  • Prescriptive fundraising analytics: Here, patterns, trends, and donor classifications are combined to create a strategy. In other words, this stage involves setting up a new and improved fundraising strategy based on insights from prior stages.

While employer appends are a small piece of fundraising data analytics, donor data is crucial to both. Build a strong foundation for analytics and revenue growth by gathering strong, organized data.

Capitalize on Fundraising Opportunities

Donor data can prevent losses on potential revenue opportunities. With employer appends, your nonprofit can identify these opportunities in time to use them.

Employer appends are great at catching matching gift opportunities. There is a lack of awareness about these programs amongst donors, making it difficult to bring in matching gift donations. The problem is even harder to address if nonprofits are unsure which of their donors have access to these programs.

Fortunately, employer appends simplify this process. After identifying which donors’ workplaces offer matching gift programs, nonprofits can spread awareness of the programs. One way to do this is to send donors matching gift letters that urge them to take advantage of the programs.

In addition to matching gift programs, corporate social responsibility programs support nonprofits in other ways. Many companies actively seek out nonprofits to support with grants. Taking advantage of additional CSR programs is a great way to garner support from sources beyond individual donors.

Tailor Fundraising Campaigns

Certain pieces of donor data help nonprofits tailor their campaigns to their audience. Not only does this indicate a better understanding of your organization’s supporters, but narrowly targeting your audience can also be more effective. Knowing exactly who makes up your base of donors and what they respond to means that your fundraising efforts will be more likely to reach and impact them.

These are the 3 pieces of information nonprofits use to tailor fundraising campaigns.

Here are a few pieces of information and their implications for tailoring your nonprofit’s fundraising campaigns:

  • Job title: A donor’s job title demonstrates how financially capable they are of giving and how much decision-making power they hold at work. It is effective to target donors in high positions of authority. Not only are these donors likely more capable of giving, but they may also be able to implement more CSR initiatives at work.
  • Employer name: Learning donors’ employers names provides insights into their connections to CSR opportunities. Tailor fundraising efforts towards people with access to CSR opportunities like matching gift programs.
  • Demographic information: Information like age delineates important insights for targeting your nonprofit’s fundraising campaigns. For example, if your donors’ primary demographic is older people, online campaigns may not be successful. In this instance, it may be better to use mailers instead.

Donor data can be an extremely versatile tool as you work to improve your fundraising strategy. Don’t be afraid to get as much use as you can out of each data point— there is no harm in deriving multiple insights from one piece of data.

Grow Revenue Over Time

After incorporating donor data analysis into your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy, your organization should see growth in revenue.

Making the most of untapped fundraising opportunities like matching gift programs is one source of growth after a data append. These programs increase revenue by supplying your nonprofit with free money via your donors’ employers. After increasing awareness of matching gift programs, the number of donors taking advantage of these programs should increase as well.

Further, identifying your core audience and catering to their preferences will increase the amount of donations you receive. Reach these audiences in ways that will inspire them to engage with your organization.

Data Append Services: Our Top Picks

Taking on data appends by yourself can be overwhelming. Put your trust in a data append service — these teams of professionals can take the weight off your shoulders. Here are a few of our top picks for data append services.


If you are a nonprofit in need of a quality data append service, look no further. NPOInfo has a team of highly-skilled experts ready to take on a wide range of data append services. NPOInfo serves nonprofits, higher education institutions, healthcare organizations, and associations, giving it a leg up on services that lack nonprofit specialization.

These are 4 of NPOInfo's top services.

In addition to employer appends, NPOInfo’s offers a variety of services. Take a look at a few of the options:

  • Email appends: This service appends donor emails based on data provided by the nonprofit. Email information is a crucial piece of donor information because it provides a means of contact between donors and your organization. Email addresses also come in handy for online donations which make up a large percentage of total revenue for nonprofits.
  • Phone number appends: Phone number appends supply nonprofits with donor phone numbers. Phone numbers provide a line of direct communication between the donor and nonprofit.
  • Date of birth appends: This information refers to donors’ birthdays. Data of birth appends can clue nonprofits in on their donors’ ages, making it easier to classify them into groups. Any demographic information like age makes tailoring fundraising messages easier.
  • Address appends: This service appends the most up-to-date mailing addresses for donors. Many nonprofits unknowingly use old addresses for their donors, wasting resources on mailers that never reach the donor. With an updated address database, mailers reach more people more effectively.

If these services sound like something your nonprofit needs, NPOInfo might be for you. Reach out for a quote to get started.

Find out what to do if you are interested in employer appends for nonprofits.

Accurate Append

Accurate Append is another option for a data append service. Specialized in businesses, Accurate Append works to append customer data. This service focuses on providing timely and accurate results in a cost-effective manner.

Accurate Append offers a wide range of data append services. In addition to employer appends, they offer email, phone and demographic appends as well. If you have existing email data or get an email append from them, the service offers email verification.


Webbula is a data append service that primarily serves email marketers, CRM directors, and advertisers. This company places an emphasis on appending email data and helping marketers maintain email hygiene. Webbula’s best fit for a client would be a business looking to elevate their email marketing.

Webbula’s services include email hygiene and verification, lead validation, and data enhancement. Data enhancement includes various data append services, including email and address appends. These services aim to help email marketers better target and reach customers.

Data Axle

Data Axle serves businesses in the sales and marketing space. They focus on appending data to help businesses improve their marketing efforts.

This data append service employs many different data append options to help businesses with their marketing strategy. Data Axle can provide different types of information about customers such as telephone appends, mailing address appends, business email appends, and more. With these services, businesses can tweak their marketing strategies based on insights about customers.

Wrapping Up

Employer appends are the key to discovering who your supporters really are. After learning valuable insights like donors’ employer’s name, job title, and matching gift information, it is easy to take advantage of fundraising opportunities. However, employer appends are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using donor data in fundraising. Donor data can quickly become an invaluable tool in your nonprofits fundraising strategy.

Interested in learning more about data and matching gifts? Check out these resources:

  • Matching Gift Letters: If you aren’t sure about how to notify donors about matching gift opportunities, this is a great place to start. This resource offers letter templates to get you started with capitalizing on matching gift opportunities.
  • Matching Gifts and COVID-19: How Companies Are Responding: COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in the nonprofit space, and matching gifts are no exception. Check out this resource to learn about how the pandemic changed matching gift programs for companies like Apple and Facebook.
  • Matching Gifts for Higher Education: 7 Actionable Tips: Matching gift programs may seem tricky to navigate as a higher education institution. This guide delivers seven great tips to ensure success.

Find out how to get started using donor data for your nonprofit.

Technology is more important than ever before, especially in the realm of nonprofit fundraising. With a majority of business conducted online, it is vital your nonprofit establish a strong digital presence to stay competitive in the fundraising space. However, this does not mean simply creating a website— your web presence must be well-known as a source for useful insights.

Not convinced? Here are a few key statistics that showcase the importance of a quality online presence when it comes to fundraising:

This graphic highlights important digital fundraising statistics.

  • 75% of young donors are turned off by out-of-date websites.
  • Donors are 34% more likely to give on mobile-responsive websites.
  • 51% of high-wealth donors (giving $200k+) prefer to give online.
  • When influencing donors, online resources are 20% more useful than direct mail.

To optimize fundraising potential, your organization must create a well-established online presence. That’s where Google Ad Grants come into play.

These grants are an integral tool in driving traffic to your organization’s landing pages and increasing donations. If you are unfamiliar with Google Ad Grants, no need to worry. This guide will walk you through everything there is to know by covering the following topics:

After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of how to make the most of fundraising opportunities with Google Ad Grants. Let’s get started!

This graphic links users to Google Ad Grant Management with Getting Attention.

This section covers the important details of the Google Ad Grant.

What is the Google Ad Grant?

Google Ads allow organizations to display advertisements, products, services, offerings, and other marketing content strategically at the top of a search engine results page (SERP). This immediately draws eyes to your messaging and helps expand audience reach.

Seeing the value that Google Ads offer businesses, Google created the Google Ad Grants program. This program provides nonprofits with $10,000 in Google AdWords spending each month. This means that organizations can utilize the “publicity” of Google Ad placement at no financial cost of their own.

Features of the Google Ad Grant

The Google Ad Grant is especially useful for organizations that are well-established digitally with missions that are frequently searched online. 

Google Ad Grants can be incorporated into fundraising by placing your organization’s online giving page at the top of the SERPs for keywords closely related to your nonprofit. Creating a digital campaign through Google Ad Grants is one of the most effective methods for reaching your target audience without breaking the bank on a marketing budget.

A unique component of Google Ad Grants is that any eligible nonprofit can utilize the program. Unlike other grants, it is not awarded to a few lucky winners. This helps to take the pressure off of your organization, as the grant application process can be fairly competitive. If you’re interested in earning $329 per day in free AdWords spending, continue on as we dive deeper into how Google Ad Grants work.

This section covers with Google Ad Grants work to help your nonprofit.

How do Google Ad Grants work?

At first glance, Google Ad Grants can seem daunting. However, we are here to walk you through the information you need to know as you get started on your Google Grant journey – starting with Google Ad Grant eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements

The good news about Google Ad Grant eligibility is that there are only a few organizational sectors unable to apply. Those include:

  • Government entities
  • Hospital or healthcare organizations
  • Schools, academic institutions, or universities

If your nonprofit organization does not meet any of the criteria above, you’re in the clear! The remaining eligibility requirements for the Google Ad Grant program are fairly simple. In order to be considered eligible, nonprofits must:

This graphic highlights Google Ad Grant eligibility requirements.

  • Have a functional website that contains valuable content that is relevant to the nonprofit’s mission.
  • Hold current and valid charitable status, which in the United States means registering as a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Adhere to Google Grant program policies, including registration with Google for Nonprofits and TechSoup.
  • Obtain a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), proving that your online domain is secure.

If your organization meets these parameters, you are ready to progress in the Google Ad Grant process. As your journey continues, there are a few other factors to pay attention to. When awarding grants, Google works to ensure your organization is well-equipped to use Adwords funding efficiently. Your organization should keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Ensuring your site does not already contain revenue-generating ads.
  • Having the ability to manage Google Ads campaigns, meaning you’re able to evaluate keywords for relevancy, accuracy, and timeliness on a regular basis.
  • Selecting keywords that have a maximum cost of $1 per click.

By determining eligibility you can begin the application process to acquire your nonprofit’s very own Google Ad Grant. Let’s see how to get started.

Application Process

When it comes to the Google Ad Grant application process, there are three key steps organizations must go through to acquire a grant. In this section, we will break each of them down.

This graphic showcases the steps of applying for the Google Ad Grant.

Step 1: Register with TechSoup and acquire a validation token.

To kick off the process, your organization will need to be validated. This can be done by registering with TechSoup, an international network for nonprofits. After completing the registration process, you will earn a validation token. Here is a walkthrough of how to register:

  1. Visit the TechSoup registration page.
  2. Select the country in which your organization is based and your language preference.
  3. Click new member, register, and agree to the terms and conditions. From there, wait to receive validation.
  4. After receiving validation, you can log into your nonprofit’s account to claim your TechSoup validation token. The token is presented in the form of a code which will be included in your Google for Nonprofits application.

After completing these steps, it is time to establish your Google for Nonprofits account.

Step 2: Sign up for a Google for Nonprofits account.

Google for Nonprofits provides organizations with several opportunities to increase visibility and drive conversions. An account with Google for Nonprofits gives access to:

  • YouTube Nonprofit Program: This program allows nonprofits to utilize YouTube’s many unique features and spread the word of their organization through visual storytelling. Videos are worth incorporating into your digital marketing strategy as humans process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content. With a Google for Nonprofits account, you can experience the benefits of video content and so much more.
  • Google Earth and Maps: This service helps to share compelling data visualizations which highlight your organization’s impact. Additionally, the use of Google Maps helps community members locate your nonprofit’s programs and resources nearest to them.
  • Google Workspace: This program offers complimentary access to Google’s most useful apps, such as Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and Google Meet. These programs allow you to stay organized and efficient, keeping operations running as smoothly as possible.

Your organization can gain access to all of that and more by registering with Google for Nonprofits. Here is how to do so:

  1. Visit the Google for Nonprofits registration website.
  2. Agree to Google’s non-discrimination statements.
  3. Input the validation token provided through TechSoup.
  4. Fill out the subsequent forms, including contact and organization information.
  5. Submit your request and await a response.

Once you have completed this process, the final step is submitting your application for the Google Ad Grant program. Let’s discuss how to do so.

Step 3: Apply for the Google Ads Grant.

It’s time to submit your application for the Google Ads Grant. By following the process outlined below, you’ll open the door to a whole new world of free AdWords spending:

This graphic highlights the Google Ad Grant application steps.

  1. Create a Google AdWords account using this link. AdWords will prompt you to select your billing country and timezone. Once submitted, it will take you to your new account.
  2. Submit your pre-qualification survey and Ad Grant training. The training video will cover policy requirements, key guidelines, and best practices for managing your account along with a short quiz.
  3. Submit the required materials for pre-qualification review. Google will respond with a status on your pre-qualification submission.
  4. Once approved for pre-qualification, set up your first Google Ads campaign.
  5. Submit your AdWords account for final review using the same steps of approval as the pre-qualification process.
  6. Once approved, the nonprofit can begin running Google Ad campaigns!

The process of acquiring a Google Ad Grant is far simpler than it seems. As hassle-free, as it may be, it is important your organization stays on top of proper grant management. Otherwise, your time with Google Ad Grants may be short-lived.

This section covers Google Ad Grant management.

Google Ad Grant Management

To maintain good standing with the Google Ad Grant program, there are a few key policies to follow. These include:

  • Account activity: Log into your account at least once a month and update the information every 90 days. This will show Google you’re still utilizing the program.
  • Ad relevance and geotargeting: It is important to run ads that have specific relevance to your audience. A great way to do this is through geotargeting, a process that ensures users are receiving ads relevant to them geographically.
  • Monthly keyword evaluation: Google requires a monthly Keyword Performance Report to ensure that you are optimizing your keywords for best results. This will put you in the best position to remain profitable. Avoid overly generic keywords and those with a quality score above 1 or 2, which Google will outline for you.
  • A minimum of 5% click-through rate (CTR): Google mandates a CTR of 5% after 90 days, in order to improve user experience and ad relevance. Accounts that fail to meet this requirement will be notified. If the account is not reached after two consecutive months, it will be suspended.
  • Account structure: When it comes to account structure, 2 is the magic number! Google AdWords campaigns must have at least 2 ads per ad group, with at least 2 ad groups per campaign. Additionally, campaigns must have at least 2 sitelink extensions.

Your organization can maintain the status of a Google Ad Grant recipient by practicing proper account upkeep. However, the pressure does not need to ride solely on your shoulders. With the help of an Ad Grant Agency, certified professionals can assist you with all of your Google Ad Grant needs.

Working with a Google Ad Grant Agency

The professionals of Ad Grant agencies help to make your Google Ad Grant experience run as smoothly as possible. As experts in their field, these agencies can assist by:

This graphic displays Google Ad Grant agency services.

  • Google Grant Application. Experts will walk you through every step of the application process to ensure your account is reviewed and accepted.
  • Google Grant Hygiene. When it comes to Google Ads, data is everything. With the help of professionals, you will not have to deal with duplicate or outdated data weighing down your processes.
  • Google Grant Reactivation. If suspended, agencies can help get your account up and running again, allowing you to avoid the headache.
  • Keyword Research. Professionals help make sure your website content is effectively serving audience needs while inspiring them to take action.
  • Google Grant Management. Tracking conversions and campaign performance is an ongoing process. With effective results requiring 3-5 ongoing campaigns, having professionals there to continuously track performance and refine strategies will help ensure success.
  • Optimizing website content. To best serve your audience’s needs, your website will need refinement to account for increased traffic. Ad Grant agencies can help keep your website in the best shape via constant keyword research, landing page relaunches, and more.
  • Practicing account upkeep. Agencies can help make sure your organization is in constant compliance with Google Grant guidelines. This will help avoid the headache having to go through the account reactivation process.

From start to finish, Ad Grant agencies are a valuable resource to help your organization optimize its Google Ad Grant opportunity. Consider reaching out for a consultation today!

This section covers using a Google Ad Grant for fundraising efforts.

Using the Google Ad Grant for Fundraising

Are Google Ad Grants worth it?

There are several benefits of nonprofit marketing grants. These grants help to:

This graphic highlights the benefits of using a nonprofit marketing grant.

  • Carry out charitable initiatives. Online marketing and promotions, exciting fundraising events, and other initiatives can be taken to the next level with the right marketing grant.
  • Pay for your donor outreach. One of the primary components of nonprofit marketing is donor outreach efforts. From email newsletters to direct mail, these efforts can be resource-intensive. On the other hand, Google Ad Grants are free.
  • Help more people with your organization. With a well-developed marketing strategy, your organization will increase visibility and attract more supporters. The more people are aware of the issues your organization is fighting for, the more likely you’ll gain valuable support for your cause and be able to make a major impact.
  • Educate and spread awareness of your mission. A marketing grant helps to best educate and spread awareness of your mission. Effective marketing makes sure that people are aware of your nonprofit and all of its offerings.

These benefits represent the significant untapped potential your organization can unlock through nonprofit marketing grants.

How to Use Google Ad Grants to Promote Fundraising

Google Ad campaigns should drive users towards your nonprofit’s campaign pages to optimize fundraising potential. Draw inspiration for how to use Google Ad Grants to promote fundraising from the following examples:

We Care Animal Rescue

We Care Animal Rescue’s mission is to promote the general welfare of animals by fostering and caring for homeless cats and dogs. The organization works to find them their forever homes and overall educate the public on animal welfare.

We Care Animal Rescue began their Google Ad Grant journey with a few marketing goals in mind. They wanted to promote their new website, attract volunteers, and drive online donations. With the help of the Google Ad Grant, they saw a 350% increase in website activity and 125% increase in online applications. Needless to say, they experienced great impact.

Days For Girls

Days For Girls centers its work around increasing access to menstrual care and education for women. They do this through developing global partnerships, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that help shatter stigmas surrounding the topic of female care.

Their marketing goals included raising more money, getting more email subscribers, and increasing brand awareness. The Google Ad Grant enabled them to see a $212 increase in average donation value, as well as receive $5,000 in donations and 400+ conversions over a 60-day period.


DonorsChoose.org is the leading platform for giving to public schools. Their mission is to make helping a classroom in need easy for everyone. More largely, they’re working towards making quality education accessible nationwide, regardless of location. Teachers across America use the website to create projects requesting certain resources and donors are able to select the projects that inspire them.

The marketing goals of DonorsChoose.org were to connect more donors and teachers to the platform while keeping their budget lean. In using the Google Ad Grant, they were able to see 305,000 website visits, receive 4,900 donations, and attract 7,400 teacher registrations all in one year. With the help of Google Ad Grants, their organization underwent significant change.

Overall, utilizing Google Ad Grants will best position your organization in the eyes of the public. Google Ad Grants help to:

  • Increase online conversions such as event signups, donations, and volunteer registrations.
  • Broaden your reach to new donors.
  • Market multiple ad campaigns simultaneously.
  • Analyze and track performance to ensure your campaigns are improving.
  • Learn the best way to meet the needs of your digital supporters.

Boost your fundraising efforts with Google Ad Grants—and the assistance of a certified Ad Grant agency—today!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for further resources on Ad Grant programs, consider the articles below:

This graphic guides users towards the help of Ad Grant agency, Getting Attention.

Volunteers are extremely valuable partners for nonprofit organizations. They donate their time and expertise to help drive your mission forward, making them essential to your mission. When fully engaged, volunteers can become excellent advocates for your organization, spreading word to their friends, family, colleagues, and the rest of their personal networks.

Because volunteers are so essential, it’s vital that their experiences with your organization are positive. After all, their experience volunteering with your nonprofit influences not only the retention of that individual, but whether or not they promote your fundraising campaigns on social media, recruit their friends to help out at your next virtual event, or become donors in the future.

If you don’t communicate effectively with your volunteers throughout their journeys—from recruitment to engagement to follow up—then you won’t be able to maximize volunteer satisfaction and retention. To improve your nonprofit’s volunteer program, we’ve put together the following these best practices for communicating with your volunteers:

  1. Create an easy online experience.
  2. Reach out before, during, and after events.
  3. Recognize volunteers for their support.
  4. Make the most of your time apart.
  5. Make sure they know how to get more involved.

Effective volunteer management can be tricky, but if you follow these best practices, we’re confident you’ll be able to establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with a loyal group of volunteers who are passionate about your cause. Let’s get started.

1. Create an easy online experience

The volunteer experience often begins when someone encounters your nonprofit’s website, making it one of the first places your nonprofit should look when improving your communication strategy. To convert prospective volunteers, prioritize clarity and straightforward navigation so visitors can find your volunteer information quickly. 

To create a well-designed, intuitive website, your website should contain the following elements:

  • Logical navigation. Put yourself in a prospective volunteer’s shoes when they first click on your homepage. What steps do they need to take to find your volunteer information? Is any key information buried in a submenu or under an only semi-related heading? Walk through the process of signing up to volunteer and ask yourself these questions to help create a more logical navigation. 
  • Visually appealing layout. Modern websites have eye-catching, sleek designs that strategically draw the eye to key information. Even organizations that don’t have web design experience can create eye-catching designs with help from modern website builders and templates.
  • Clear mission statement. Your prospective volunteers will want to gather as much information about your nonprofit as possible before signing up to work with you. Ensure that your mission statement is easy to find and clearly states what your nonprofit strives to accomplish. 
  • Clear calls to action. Consider the placement of calls to action (CTAs) for volunteers. If the “Get Involved” button is tucked away on a rarely-visited page on your site, you might be losing valuable potential supporters. Instead, your CTAs should be prominent, recurring, and smartly placed near emotional appeals and attention-grabbing photos.

Once your volunteer has clicked on a CTA, they’ll be taken to your registration page. You’ll likely create your registration form using your volunteer management software solution, so when choosing which one to invest in, consider ease of use of the registration forms and whether or not the registration data will integrate with your other tools. 

The registration form itself should be as concise as possible; excessively detailed or complicated forms will discourage supporters from completing the form, potentially leading to page abandonment. Stick to essential information for your required fields, and make less-vital questions (like interests and past volunteer experience) optional. Alternatively, follow up with volunteers later to collect that information after they’ve been approved. Remember, you’ll always be able to learn more about your volunteers as they become involved with your organization.

2. Reach out before, during, and after events

Whether a volunteer signed up to help with a virtual fundraising event, a three-day restoration project, or a training session, the event is not the only thing on their mind. Your volunteers will need and appreciate clear communication prior to coming in. 

Volunteer management software with automated communication features can handle many routine messages for you. Some automated communications you should implement are:

  • Signup confirmations. Immediately after registration, volunteers should receive an automated email or text confirming the date, time, and location of the event they signed up for. Additionally, include other helpful information, like specific directions for accessing the event and parking information for in-person events.
  • Reminders leading up to the event or training. Sending reminder texts or emails to your volunteers communicates that you care about their service, demonstrates understanding about their busy schedules, and lowers no-show rates.
  • Post-event follow-up survey. After a volunteer has generously donated their time and effort to your organization, show them that you value their thoughts and opinions by sending a follow-up survey about their experience. This will not only encourage engagement but will also help you better optimize your volunteer program.

Additionally, encourage volunteers to reach out to each other to help create a community around your volunteer program. Mobilize’s guide to volunteer engagement specifically references how open communication with both your organization and other volunteers can improve your program: 

Creating a successful volunteer engagement strategy requires giving your volunteers the space to connect with your organization and with each other… send text reminders about volunteer shifts, automate email reminders for your events to reduce no-shows, and embrace communication channels that create community.”

3. Recognize your volunteers for their support

Expressing your gratitude for your volunteers’ hard work is an essential step for building a future relationship with them. As generous as your volunteers are for donating their time, it’s only natural that they’ll appreciate some recognition, and your nonprofit should celebrate everything they helped you accomplish. 

Beginning with a thank-you email, your volunteer appreciation efforts should be customized to fit your organization and the experience your volunteers had. Here are a few appreciation methods that allow for nonprofits to put their own special twist on them:

  • Special events like dinners, shows, and movie nights
  • Perks like raffles and awards (or even just coffee and doughnuts at a morning event!)
  • Thank-you gifts like t-shirts, keychains, and mugs
  • Thank-you letters that feel genuine and personal

Engaging, meaningful volunteer recognition not only makes it more likely that each volunteer will return to help your nonprofit, but also that they may become advocates for your organization. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations can help your volunteer recruiting efforts for your next campaign, as many of your trusted volunteers may encourage their friends and family to work alongside them.

4. Make the most of your time apart

It can be easy to fall into the habit of only contacting your volunteers when you need them to come in and work on something. While you should certainly share news about your next initiative or campaign, be sure to vary your communication to make them feel like a real part of your organization. 

Consider creating a dedicated email stream for your volunteers. In addition to requests for support, include messages that keep them in the loop about your nonprofit’s operations, such as: 

  • Recent accomplishments. Your volunteers support your nonprofit because they believe in your mission. Let them know what progress you’ve made to further your cause since they last volunteered. 
  • The long-term impact of a given project. If a volunteer helped out with a fundraiser or program initiative, let them know what became of it, especially if there was a major accomplishment.
  • Internal strategic updates. If your nonprofit is rolling out new strategies or changing up any internal processes related to your volunteer program, let your volunteers know so they’ll be up-to-date the next time they help out.

You can also create a dedicated volunteer newsletter to share news from your organization, provide information about upcoming volunteer opportunities, and offer other ways for your volunteers to get engaged with your nonprofit. Ideally, the newsletter would serve part of a broader marketing campaign that drives engagement to your website, blog, and social media. 

5. Make sure they know how to get more involved

Because you have a specific mission, you will likely need volunteers to come in and perform the same types of jobs repeatedly. However, if you provide your volunteers very little variation in their opportunities, they may feel unfulfilled and seek opportunities at other organizations. You can avoid this problem by providing your volunteers with a variety of ways to get involved. 

Offering additional engagement opportunities empowers your volunteers, builds their investment, and helps them stay engaged long-term. For example, here are a few ways you can make your volunteer program more valuable to volunteers:

  • Create skill-learning opportunities. There might be opportunities at your nonprofit to help your volunteers gain skills while helping out at your organization. These can be both hard and soft skills, such as teaching sustainable gardening techniques or better communication skills. 
  • Encourage volunteers to network with one another. Volunteering can be a social experience, and getting to know and work with others can become a major highlight of your program. Find opportunities where multiple volunteers can work together and get to know each other while helping your nonprofit.
  • Ask volunteers for feedback. If you aren’t sure what your volunteers would like to see from your volunteer program, ask them. While you may not be able to implement every suggestion you get, simply asking them may help some of your volunteers feel heard.
  • Ask to apply for a volunteer grant. For volunteers who enjoy your program and have worked with you for a significant amount of time, consider asking them to apply for a volunteer grant. Crowd101’s guide to volunteer grants explains that many volunteers have no idea if they’re eligible for one through their employer. Help them look up their company and fill out any necessary forms to complete their grant application, earning your nonprofit a bit of extra revenue and increasing their impact on your work. 

Additionally, be sure to show your appreciation every step of the way. If a volunteer fills out a survey or applies for a volunteer grant, thank them! Whether a volunteer has responsibilities that are vital to your program’s success or is working on something with lower stakes, let them know that it matters and you appreciate their effort. 

Volunteers provide vital services to nonprofits, from planting trees to running events and delivering meals. Don’t miss out on any volunteer support due to lack of communication. Instead, follow these best practices to reach, engage, and retain as many volunteers as possible. From signup confirmations to volunteer newsletters and additional engagement, it’s important to communicate well with your volunteers at every step of their supporter journey.