Fundraising volunteers: are you getting yours?

publication date: May 3, 2012
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
In April, National Volunteer Week was publicized as an opportunity for charities to recognize the many ways that volunteers contribute to the nonprofit sector.  I'm not convinced that our 80,000+ registered charities are hearing the message.  Granted, talking about volunteers is not the "sexiest" of topics, but without a doubt they are the lifeblood of charitable work in this country - as donors, workers and fundraisers.

In Excellence in Fundraising in Canada, contributing author Boyd McBride starts at the offices of Volunteer Canada to frame his overview of volunteers in fundraising.

Volunteer Canada oversees the "big picture" work around volunteering in Canada. Their latest study, Bridging the Gap (2010), found that volunteers are younger now and more likely to be new Canadians. It notes that, for many, finding the right kind of volunteer experience is difficult. The study goes on to explore a series of gaps between what today's volunteer wants in order to get engaged and what our organizations are, or are not, able to offer. For example, many people are looking for group activities but few organizations have the capacity to offer them.

So, what are the top five volunteer roles in Canada?

1.       Organizing and supervising events

2.       Fundraising

3.       Sitting on committees and boards

4.       Office administration

5.       Teaching and/or mentoring

In the Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Statistics Canada found that Canadians volunteer a lot. In 2007, they volunteered for the equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs. Of this, fundraising volunteers put in the equivalent of 100,000 full-time jobs with 86,000 registered charities: that's the equivalent of almost one full-time fundraising volunteer per charity! Are you getting yours? Is your charity getting its fair share? If not, why not?

Read Boyd's full chapter on "Volunteers in Fundraising," in Excellence in Fundraising in CanadaPurchase it now.

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