When selecting volunteer leaders, ensuring the right fit is much more than finding a warm body to fill a chair. Superior volunteer leaders must have a passion for what they’re doing and a keen belief in the campaign’s purpose, goal, organization and scope. Volunteer leaders who have a passion for what they’re doing will unleash their passion to motivate their volunteers on toward success.
As H.J. Seymour put it in his book “Designs for Fund Raising,” “Leadership in itself, let it never be forgotten, is always the key factor in successful fundraising, whatever the cause, whatever the goal and whatever the scope of the campaign.”
Recruiting volunteer leaders is best done from the top down. For example, the board of directors selects the steering committee members. The steering committee selects the campaign chair and the campaign chair selects the leadership gift chair, public relations chair and major gifts chair. The chairs, in turn, select their volunteers.
Although the majority of leaders may already be involved with your organization or campaign, consider looking outside your “family” to whose well-known and well-respected community volunteer leaders. Also, look to those who are newly rich, newly powerful and top managers of key corporations. Those who have passion for the power of philanthropy and volunteerism can be nurtured into directing that passion on behalf of your campaign.
A top volunteer must be:
- Totally committed to the campaign
- A successful veteran of other campaigns
- Willing to make a major campaign gift
- A dynamic and passionate “asker”
- Owed more favors than he or she owes (because of support for other community projects)
- Well-known, admired and respected in the community
- Able to motivate potential major donors
- Able to surround himself or herself with a team of experienced and loyal volunteers
- Available during the campaign; absentee management is ineffective in fundraising
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!