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Volunteering and volunteers

I am writing this post from Tijuana, Mexico, where I am spending the week volunteering. This is the first time I have been back to Tijuana since March, when it became more difficult to border cross due to COVID.

My volunteer days are long here. Plus it’s hot, and most spaces I’m in I’m lucky to have a fan. And yet each morning I walk to work or am on my way home I am filled with this intense gratitude for being able to be here in this moment and serve others.

While down here I’ve had time to think about volunteers, and how we as nonprofits treat them. Or look at them. For example, as one who focuses on fundraising and relationship building, is it wrong to consider volunteers as potential donors?

No way!

Do it. Ask them. Ask us. I donate to every nonprofit where I volunteer. In many cases I ask my friends and family to donate as well. I honor those who volunteer and view their time volunteering as how they give, and my experience tells me that most volunteers want to give when offered the opportunity to support at another level. Many volunteers are never even asked to give.

It’s also important to keep in good communication with your volunteers. Share the impact of their work. Thank them. Make sure they know how grateful you are for their time and work. Kind of like how you treat, say, donors! Yes, that’s exactly right!

The importance of volunteers is talked about a lot in our circles. It’s important to walk the walk with volunteers and ensure they are treated like the rock stars they are.

Thanks for volunteering. I mean for reading!

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