|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
| ASK CONNIE
VT readers ask questions about volunteer management
and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant
and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
What’s in a name? Well, Shakespeare said, “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2). The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name. So, why aren’t people who accept my donations of goods asking me for my name?
In the course of my move to Central Oklahoma, I’ve had to clean and reorganize lots of closets to make room for my valuable stuff. I’ve taken load after load of clothes, shoes, bedding, kitchen supplies, etc., to every nonprofit in my new community. Front desk folks have graciously accepted my donations and expressed their gratitude for them. But, NO ONE is asking for my name.
Capturing someone’s name and contact information is the first step in engaging them in your mission! If I care enough to make a donation, I might just care enough to give my time and/or money to their cause. So I encourage you to work with the people at the front desk and train them to capture names for you and your organization.
I realize there may be some resistance from people about giving you personal information. But, I think it’s all in the way you ask for it. Let them know that you appreciate their donation and would like to keep them informed about how the gifts are used through your newsletter. Or, tell them your organization relies on volunteers like them and you have a variety of opportunities if they’d like to get more involved. Or, tell them about your annual fundraising event and ask if you can send them an announcement. Or, ask if they would like to know more about your organization.
In other words, reach out and engage! Volunteers, board members, and donors come in all stripes and you never know when you’re talking to the next big contributor of time and/or financial support. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture their name and contact information. In the meantime, I’ll keep waiting for someone to ask for mine.
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
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