Volunteers are the crux of many nonprofit operations. Whether it’s answering phones or cleaning up a park, volunteers can fill essential roles at many organizations. But did you know you could be getting additional revenue from your volunteers?
The Basics of Volunteer Grant Programs
Volunteer grants, sometimes known as “dollars for doers”, are offered by many companies and are a great opportunity for everyone involved. Volunteer grants are grants given to nonprofits when an employee volunteers their time to that nonprofit. In other words, nonprofits get paid for the work their volunteers do. Volunteer grants are a great opportunity for everyone involved. Companies know very well that a robust social responsibility program is necessary for good branding; volunteers get the extra satisfaction of knowing that they’re helping their favorite nonprofit with extra money, and nonprofits appreciate the extra cash.
Volunteer grants exist in many different varieties. Companies like 3M and Aetna Healthcare provide fixed donations if one of their employees volunteers for a minimum amount of time. 3M will donate $250 dollars if one of their employees volunteers for at least 20 hours. Other companies will donate on an hourly basis. Microsoft, for instance, will donate $17 dollars for every hour of volunteering.
Grants for Group Volunteerism
Another lucrative opportunity for nonprofits is team volunteering grants. These grants are awarded when a group of employees volunteer their time to a select nonprofit.
IBM offers up to $7,500 in IBM equipment when current employees or even retirees team up to make a difference.
Unfortunately, when volunteering their time, many people don’t think to check their HR manual for the existence of volunteer grants. That’s why companies like Double the Donation are committed to making it easy to coordinate the complex field of corporate giving between nonprofits, companies, and volunteers.
How To Get Volunteer Grants
#1 Get Volunteers: You can’t get volunteer grants without volunteers! Try to do local outreach and target specific companies that you know offer volunteer grants. Perhaps you can let potential volunteers know about the benefits of volunteering!
#2 Notify Your Volunteers: Many of your volunteers may not even be aware that their donation of time is eligible for a matching cash grant from their employers. Work with your volunteers to find out if they are eligible.
#3 Volunteers Submit Grant Requests: Companies may have forms available electronically or on paper.
#4 Nonprofit Confirms Volunteer Work: Your organization must validate that it is an eligible nonprofit organization and that the volunteers have donated their time.
#5 Corporations release funds: Once you’ve completed every other step, enjoy the bump in funding your nonprofit receives.