I've been working with a number of organizations who are hesitant to ask their volunteers to donate. After all, they are contributing so much of their valuable time, isn't that enough? Don't you risk turning them off your organization and loosing them?
In fact, volunteers are your BEST prospective donors.
You've probably heard me say (or write) that the best donors are the ones who love your organization. They will give generously (to their ability) and for a long time. And you are contributing to their personal fulfillment, as people give because it's meaningful to them.
Who loves your organization more than anyone else?
Your volunteers of course!
I've talked with a number of volunteers for these organizations that I'm working with and they are not only interested in making a donation, they are surprised they haven't been asked yet!
(Now, between you and me, we all know they can reach out and make a donation without being asked - but it almost never works that way - people need to be asked, even if gently or passively.)
Even lower-income volunteers
Before you tell me that you're volunteers are low-income, consider that people of all income levels donate to charities. In fact, people with lower incomes give a greater percentage of their income than those with high-income levels. So if your volunteers are supporting charities with donations, why wouldn't they consider supporting yours? The one they are so committed to that they give their time. The one that resonates deeply in their hearts.
So how do you ask?
Asking volunteers doesn't need to be complicated. Include them in an appeal and if you can, customize and segment the list so they get a letter that acknowledges they are a volunteer.
If you are comfortable, ask them face to face.
You can ask volunteers to give generally, or you can create a special volunteer campaign where they collectively give to a certain goal or project, like a scholarship fund.
Remember, this is a long-term relationship, so ask annually and deepen their relationship with and commitment to your organization.