The Future of Volunteer Management

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Our experience as alumni volunteers sparked the idea for EverTrue.

My co-founder Jesse and I are both scholarship kids. I was the first in my family to attend college. We wanted to give back in any way we could, so we began supporting our class reunions and annual funds right after graduation.

We loved our colleges. But we didn’t love the spreadsheets we had to use to lead our reunion fundraising campaigns!

The contact information was incorrect. The ask amounts didn’t reflect my classmates’ current capacity. I’d make the ask, but it would take weeks to find out if my friends had actually given.

It seemed like the system was broken for everyone—volunteers, staff, and my classmates. We just wanted to help, but we didn’t have the right tools to do our best work.

Jesse and I realized there was a gap—a divide we launched EverTrue to bridge. For seven years, alongside hundreds of amazing partners, we have given advancement teams the right tools and information to do their best work.

Now we’re taking on the very challenge that led us to start EverTrue.

I am so excited to announce the official launch of EverTrue’s Volunteer Management product—the easiest and most powerful way to build, equip, and manage your fundraising volunteer program.

Before we go any further, I’d like to thank great institutions such as Notre Dame, Whitman College, Pomona College, Wheaton College, Millbrook, Marlborough, Milton Academy, and others who have worked alongside us as partners and beta testers, delivering invaluable feedback and insights on this brand-new venture.

Here’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Volunteer outreach is powerful

We are convinced that peer-to-peer outreach is the most powerful and effective way to drive annual fund results. Your appeals are quite simply more effective coming from a friend or fellow alum than they are from your mail house.

Institutions with volunteer programs are five times more likely to have an annual participation rate over 20% than those who haven’t yet tapped into the power of peer-to-peer outreach.

Institutions with fundraising volunteers are 5x's more likely to have a participation rate of more than 20%

We found 82% of schools and colleges with more than 100 fundraising volunteers achieved participation rates above 20%, indicating that the more fundraising volunteers an annual giving team manages, the better it performs.

Institutions with more than 100 fundraising volunteers have higher participation

Volunteer programs are broken

We hear time and time again that most institutions don’t have the right tools to identify their best ambassadors and manage their volunteer fundraising programs.

Most rely on spreadsheets to deliver information to their volunteers. Those sheets are static and outdated as soon as they’re sent! Volunteers don’t know when their prospects make a gift and advancement teams don’t know when volunteers have completed their assignments.

The industry is also tied to a class-based volunteer system, which has been effective, but overlooks other important ties. Affinity-based programs are powerful, but difficult to organize without the right information about the interests of potential volunteers and prospects.

Top 3 challenges for managing volunteer programs

We built Volunteer Management to solve these problems

Every annual giving team should have access to tools that make it simple to organize and run a great volunteer program.

So we built Volunteer Management using modern, mobile technology that makes it simple to find new volunteers, deliver up-to-date information, and track volunteer activity and success.

Here’s what you can do with Volunteer Management:

1) Deliver Mobile-First Tools

You’re on your phone. Your volunteers are on their phones. You need to be able to manage your volunteers, track their progress, and help them get their jobs done—smartphone to smartphone.

We make it simple for volunteers to contact and solicit prospects and track progress from any device.

2) Streamline Volunteer Recruitment

I spoke with an annual fund leader who’s working to increase annual giving by $10 million. To hit this goal, she’s adding hundreds of new volunteers to her base. But recruiting new volunteers remains a challenging, time-consuming process.

We let you quickly connect with your most engaged and most consistent donors to quickly identify and recruit new volunteers.

3) Make Current Information Available… Always

All fundraisers—volunteer or professional—need good information to do their jobs well. By closely connecting with your database and leveraging EverTrue’s integrations with LinkedIn and Facebook, every volunteer and team leader will know when the gifts come in, when a prospect changes a job, and when they have the institution top-of-mind.

We’re killing spreadsheets. Deliver the latest and best information while sharing giving info on a need-to-know basis.

 

4) Track Progress by Volunteer, Class, or Pool

Volunteers want to know how they’re doing. They need fundraising targets to stay on track, and they also should also see progress as they move toward the finish line.

We give you up-to-the-minute updates and let you track individual outreach to celebrate your most successful volunteers.

 

5) Flexible Pool Management

Alumni are using social media to organize themselves around shared interests and affinities, so why can’t our fundraising programs do the same? Personalize outreach to eliminate spam and noise from your appeals.

We give you flexible pools to support athletic teams, affinity groups, regional programming, parent campaigns, and more. Allow volunteers to self-select prospects.

 

6) Collect Great Data

Classmates know each other best. Volunteers have have both tactical information (mobile numbers and new addresses) and nuanced insights (career trajectory, personal interests, family considerations) that should feed back to advancement teams.

We empower volunteers to seamlessly provide data and insights to support a complete donor profile.


So what do you think? Are we on the right track?

We know that Volunteer Management will evolve as we continue to collaborate with you and your peers, but these themes reflect our approach to solving this problem and maximize the impact of volunteer fundraising programs.

If you’re interested in helping to shape the next era of fundraising, we’d love to talk to you about launching Volunteer Management at your institution.

Get a Demo

Ever True!
—Brent

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