Archive for December, 2011

How to Find Out if Your Non Profit Supporters Are Satisfied

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

How do you know if your donors and supporters are getting what they need from their relationship with your organization? After all, you are competing for their support with every other organization in your community—and many around the world, as well.

Once you lose a supporter, you may never get them back. So it’s vitally important for non-profits to stay close with their supporters, ask their opinions, their advice, their preferences and more.

Determining if people are happy with the services you provide, your organization’s mission, and the value they feel they are receiving for their investment (donation) doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re keeping good databases, you have several ways to reach each of your supporters.

Some people prefer face-to-face interactions. For these folks, an invitation to an open house would be a good way to get started. Once they’re in the door, ask them to fill out a short survey. Some supporters need a more personal approach, such as a one-on-one coffee or lunch. Your invitation could clearly state the reason for the meeting: “We need your feedback. Would you be willing to share your opinions about how we’re doing?”

Other supporters have no time for parties or lunches. Send an email. Still others want to do all of their interactions through social media sites, like Facebook. You could also lure these folks to your website by engaging them through Twitter. Once you have their attention, give them a short survey to fill out.

You can leave it to just a few questions:
1. Would you recommend that your friends donate to our organization?
2. Why or why not?
3. What suggestions for improvement can you offer?

That’s it. Ask your supporters if they’re happy, and they will most likely tell you!

Volunteer Holiday Party Ideas for Small Budgets

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

volunteer screening, volunteer background checkShowing your volunteers that you appreciate their service shouldn’t be reserved for the holiday season. But the holidays are the perfect time to kick back a little bit and enjoy each other’s company. Why not treat your volunteers to a party—even if you have a very small budget? After all, with the tough times you’ve all been through in the past few years, you deserve a celebration.

Five Best Small Budget Volunteer Party Ideas

  1. Recruit friends and family to help. Do you know a DJ who’d be willing to play some music for the party? Have a catering contact who might want to give you some food for the cause? How about the owners of your local bowling alley—would they give you a few lanes for an afternoon of fun for your volunteers? Keep in mind that certain business owners might be donation-weary by this time of year, so try asking a few who haven’t donated to your non-profit for awhile.
  2. Host a potluck at your house. Having your volunteers in your home is personal and special. The best parties are often those where everyone provides their favorite dish. Sure, it’s a little more work for you, but you won’t have to prepare all the food; and it’s a very inexpensive option.
  3. Remember to say thank you. Would a local business owner provide small thank you gifts or gift cards for your volunteers? Even a $5 coffee card or movie passes can mean a lot—especially when accompanied by a thoughtful, hand-written note.
  4. If you have a budget for your party, you can save money by having a daytime event. Think lunch instead of dinner. Do your volunteers like Mexican food? Asian? These options are often inexpensive. The challenge could be in finding a cuisine that everyone likes and that caters to a variety of food allergies and preferences.
  5. Don’t spend money on decorations. Stop by any Christmas tree lot and ask for cuttings. They’ll have plenty you can use to deck the halls with fragrance and natural beauty.

It’s not difficult to host a great volunteer party on a small budget. Try these tips to make it special and an event your volunteers will long remember.