Super Volunteer

Super Volunteer

research study by Blackbaud has revealed a relatively new group of fundraisers known as “Super Volunteers.” 

This is grassroots fundraising that costs the nonprofit organization next to nothing!  It engages donors in a way that’s exciting and rewarding for them so you also generate more donor loyalty. 

Talk about a win-win scenarioDonors win because they’re helping in a very tangible and personal way.  And nonprofits win because you receive more revenue, acquire new donors you may not have ever found, and the cost of fundraising for these events was super low – between $0.10 and $0.15 per dollar raised. 

How is all this being done?  Passionate supporters organize and run Independent Fundraising Events (IFE) on behalf of a charity they love.  Your Super Volunteers do what you may not be able to do: Hold a fundraising event that reaches into countless communities across the country.

Results are impressive and include… 

  • An estimated $300 million was raised in 2008 in the United States from IFEs
  • The recorded cost of fundraising for these events was between $0.10 and $0.15 per dollar raised.  That’s likely to be lower than any other traditional fundraising tactic you’re using. 
  • For the Lance Armstrong Foundation, grassroots fundraisers raised over $3.8 million with almost no cost to the organization.  And the average independent fundraiser raised more than $3,200 compared to the average $500 raised by participants in the organization’s signature event.
  • An IFE program offers a deeper level of engagement with your strongest supporters.
  • “64 percent of the IFE participants surveyed reported that they were first-time fundraisers for the organization. Most are directly impacted by the cause they support and are looking to take action in a more personal way than is available through the organization’s traditional event offerings.”

Engage your own “Super Volunteers”

Conclusions and recommendations Blackbaud shares in its report include:

  • IFEs represent a growing revenue source
  • Nonprofits should “find better ways to cultivate these fundraisers and provide the solutions Super Volunteers need to succeed.”
  • The results and trends of the research “support the need for a strong online user experience and justify the investment in sophisticated online tools, communications, and reporting.”
  • By offering an IFE program, a nonprofit “can build stronger, more loyal supporters, acknowledge their personal struggle, and honor supporters’ desire to act in impactful ways that match their passion with a nonprofit’s mission.”
  • “Traditional event organizers need to view independent fundraising as supplementary, not competitive, to their existing development portfolio.”
  • Super Volunteers (i.e., independent fundraisers) use their personal social networks to reach donors the nonprofit can’t reach.  And they also spread awareness beyond the reach of the charity.
  • You’ll enjoy a more dependable revenue source even in tough economic times because it’s a very personal “ask” from your Super Volunteers
  • Through your IFE program, donors experience a very personal form of involvement at an emotional level.  And as you probably know, emotion and passion hold the secret to great fundraising.

Blackbaud’s research team analyzed data from 30,000 donors and 4,000 individual fundraisers (Super Volunteers).  Download the study and if you wish, also register for their February 3 webinar, “Raising More Money Online from Independent Fundraising Events.”