The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Volunteer Grants [For Nonprofits]

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Volunteer Grants [For Nonprofits]

In the dynamic landscape of nonprofit operations, organizations constantly face the challenges of recruiting and retaining dedicated volunteers, sourcing sufficient funds, and maintaining high levels of engagement. Various strategies have been devised to overcome these challenges, but one opportunity stands out as a potent yet often underutilized resource: corporate volunteer grants.

What are Volunteer Grants?

Volunteer grants, which are also known as “Dollars for Doers” or employer-sponsored volunteer programs, are corporate giving initiatives in which companies provide monetary donations to nonprofits where their employees volunteer. These grants can significantly enhance a nonprofit’s funding while also fostering a culture of collaboration between corporations, nonprofits, and their shared teams.

As a result, the approach you take to marketing volunteer grants to supporters is crucial. In order to drive the best results, the marketing process generally includes the following steps:

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each item so you can ensure your team is marketing volunteer grants effectively. Plus, create the greatest positive impact for your cause.

Let’s begin!

Segmenting your volunteer grant marketing approach

In the realm of nonprofit fundraising, a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing rarely yields optimal results. Marketing volunteer grants is no different.

Therefore, understanding your nonprofit’s audience is crucial for effectively promoting the opportunities to your supporter base. By tailoring your communications with a data-driven strategy, you can increase engagement, awareness, and participation in the revenue-generating programs.

For example, existing volunteers could receive one piece of content asking them to see if their employer will match their time. Meanwhile, volunteer prospects might receive another message informing them about the opportunity and encouraging them to sign up for a volunteer shift to get started.

If you know the supporter’s company, you can also segment your marketing based on a recipient’s likely eligibility for a grant. And, if there’s a history of eligibility for⁠—or participation in⁠—other forms of workplace giving programs (such as matching gifts or volunteer time off), this can also be helpful information to note.

Marketing volunteer grants using segmentation

Creating and sharing useful volunteer grant marketing content

Creating and sharing volunteer grant-related content through your marketing efforts is pivotal for nonprofits aiming to promote the opportunity to their supporters. By providing clear, informative, and engaging materials, you can educate volunteers about the programs, demystify the process, and invite supporters to get involved.

When done well, your content should strengthen the connection with volunteers by highlighting the dual value of their time alongside financial support from their employers. This targeted approach not only raises awareness but also empowers volunteers to take action, leading to increased participation in the programs.

Check out the following content topics and ideas for marketing volunteer grants to your audience:

  • Highlight examples of top companies with volunteer grant programs, including Microsoft, Disney, Allstate, Dell, Aetna, and more. Then, encourage supporters to look into their employers’ participation.
  • Offer an interactive volunteer grant database like 360MatchPro on your nonprofit website, and direct your audience to engage with the tool to locate their volunteer grant eligibility. This allows supporters to access company-specific program criteria to get started!
  • Share testimonials that demonstrate the positive impact volunteer grants have had on your cause in the past. Invite real volunteers to share their experiences with the programs, too!
  • Supplement text with multimedia ⁠content such as photos, videos, infographics, and more to attract and retain your audience’s attention.

💡 Top tip: Looking to up your workplace giving marketing? Double the Donation supplies its users with pre-made, customizable graphic templates within 360MatchPro.

Just log into the platform → navigate to the Resources tab → select Marketing Assets → browse our library of free materials for clients to utilize → personalize your selected template to match your organization’s unique branding style, objectives, and more.

Here’s an example of an email header graphic we edited to promote volunteer grants:

Sample material for marketing volunteer grants

Not yet a 360MatchPro client? Get started with a demo of our complete volunteer grant and matching gift automation tool here.

Marketing volunteer grants with multi-channel promotions

There’s no one perfect platform through which your organization can market volunteer grants to reach 100% of your audience. That’s why we recommend taking a multichannel approach, ensuring your message has a broader reach, and you expose a greater percentage of your audience to the opportunity.

While the specific means you use will vary according to your existing promotional plans and resources, we recommend marketing volunteer grants across the following channels:

Marketing volunteer grants - multichannel

1) Your website

Your website can serve as a central hub for providing detailed information about volunteer grants to your supporters. We recommend establishing a dedicated page to explain what these are, how supporters can apply for them, and the impact they have on your mission⁠. You’ll also want to embed a volunteer grant database in the page to ensure users have easy access to program guidelines and next steps.

Plus, add a section about the opportunity on your website’s Ways to Give hub. However, you may decide to combine your Match Page and Volunteer Grants Page, creating a complete workplace giving resource instead.

2) Social media

Social media platforms are excellent for raising awareness and driving traffic to your website. Regular posts, stories, and updates about grant opportunities, testimonials, and submission tips can reach a wide audience and encourage eligible volunteers to get involved. Meanwhile, interactive content like polls and Q&A sessions can also boost engagement and get supporters excited about the opportunity. Then, link back to your dedicated volunteer grants page so you can supply hyper-personalized information even from your broader marketing efforts.

3) Email

Email campaigns can deliver personalized and targeted information directly to your supporters’ inboxes. Digital newsletters can feature detailed step-by-step walkthroughs, reminders about submission deadlines, and success stories to encourage participation.

At the same time, more segmented emails can ensure each volunteer receives targeted content relevant to them, their engagement history, and their employing company.

4) Text messages

Text marketing offers a powerful opportunity for sharing short, sweet, and to-the-point messages with your audience. When it comes to marketing volunteer grants, it’s a direct, quick, and easy way to remind supporters about volunteer grant opportunities.

For the best results, we recommend prioritizing brief, concise messages linking out to additional information to prompt quick and tangible next steps from supporters.

5) Volunteer sign-up forms

Integrating information about volunteer grants into your organization’s volunteer sign-up forms ensures that new and existing volunteers are exposed to the programs.

Even better, volunteers expect to share a good amount of information about themselves when they sign up to donate their time to your cause. As each volunteer completes an online sign-up form, your team has a unique opportunity to promote volunteer grant opportunities and source employment data that can help uncover funding in your network.

💡 Top tip: Embed a company database tool like 360MatchPro into your volunteer registration forms! Make it easy for supporters to learn about the opportunity and provide invaluable employment insights.

6) Paid advertising

Our final recommendation is what is often referred to as paid advertising. However, don’t let the “paid” part hold you back. Sites like Google and Microsoft each offer registered nonprofits free access to their platforms, meaning you’ll benefit from sponsored search listings at no cost.

In doing so, you can effectively target specific demographics likely to be interested in volunteer grants. Plus, drive new qualified traffic to your website, raise awareness among a broader audience, and attract new supporters to your cause.

💡 Top tip: Request a free consultation with our recommended paid advertising consultant, Getting Attention, to initiate the Google Grant application process today.

Marketing volunteer grants with one-off corporate partnerships

More than likely, a lot of your supporters already work for companies with volunteer grant programs. For those who don’t, however, custom or “one-off” partnerships can offer an excellent way to begin facilitating relationships with employers in your network.

This targeted approach allows nonprofits to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with a specific company, fostering a sense of exclusivity and dedicated support. It can even lead to increased volunteer engagement from the company’s employees, who may feel more connected and committed to the cause due to their employer’s direct involvement.

Check out this example of marketing a custom volunteer grant partnership in action:

The Central Texas Food Bank is the Largest hunger relief agency in the region, serving nearly 46,000 individuals across 21 counties each week. In order to meet the immense needs of its communities, tech giant Oracle has supported the organization for nearly three decades, encouraging its employees to support the cause since 2007.

Recently, the company awarded the Food Bank a $35,000 grant in response to nearly 3,000 volunteer hours its employees contributed toward the inspection, packing, and distribution of food items. An article regarding the partnership even describes the company’s team as a common and welcome sight at the organization, further demonstrating the deep and ongoing impact it has on the cause.

Example of marketing volunteer grants for one-off partnerships

The Central Texas Food Bank is also known for its matching gift success, using Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro to power its standout efforts. Check out the full case study here to learn more!

💡 Top tip: Reach out to existing supporters’ employers to pitch a volunteer grant partnership. You may even be able to source a warm introduction from a donor or volunteer to help break the ice!

Sourcing inspiration from real-world examples of marketing volunteer grants

Sourcing inspiration from real-world examples of volunteer grant marketing efforts can help nonprofits promote the opportunities to their own audiences more effectively than ever before. Examining case studies, testimonials, and best practices in action from fundraising peers allows nonprofits to identify innovative approaches and avoid common pitfalls.

By adapting and implementing these tested methods, nonprofits can enhance their outreach efforts, increase awareness of volunteer grant programs, and ultimately boost their results.

Check out the following examples of nonprofits marketing volunteer grants well:

Organization A 🐶

In our first example of standout volunteer grant marketing, one animal welfare nonprofit has effectively harnessed the potential of volunteer grants through a multi-faceted and user-friendly online approach. Specifically, this team created a dedicated employee giving page and embedded Double the Donation’s database tool. This way, they can provide real-time information on thousands of companies’ volunteer grant programs with just a few clicks.

But the nonprofit didn’t stop there, either! Instead, this team also integrated employment-related questions directly within their volunteer application forms. As an individual completes the sign-up process, they are prompted to supply details such as their company name, role, and knowledge of workplace giving (matching gift) program availability. Thus, by gathering this information upfront, the organization can identify potential grant opportunities and proactively assist volunteers in applying for them.

Organization B 🩺

Our next example is an organization that focuses on health and medical support. This nonprofit’s strategy for marketing volunteer grants is built around detailed guidance and robust information. The organization has built out a dedicated volunteer grants page with an embedded company search tool, making it easy for volunteers to find out if their employers offer grant programs.

The online resource also features a step-by-step walkthrough of the process for requesting a volunteer grant, ensuring that volunteers understand each stage and what is required. Plus, to further underscore the value of volunteer grants, this team highlights statistics that showcase the prevalence of these programs with concrete data.

Organization C 🩺

Another health and medical nonprofit has also developed a multi-channel approach to promoting volunteer grants. This organization’s dedicated employee giving page includes everything an individual would need to know to get involved⁠—from an embedded company search tool with a detailed FAQ section to information about the nonprofit and more.

Additionally, the organization prominently mentions volunteer grants on its “Ways to Give” page, ensuring potential donors and volunteers are aware of this opportunity and encouraged to participate.

Organization D 🥫

For this food bank, promoting volunteer grants begins with visibility on crucial web pages⁠—including a prominent mention on the organization’s “Ways to Give” page. This ensures visitors are made aware of this opportunity and encouraged to get involved. They’ve even embedded 360MatchPro’s search tool right within the page, providing information on thousands of companies’ programs and making it easy for volunteers to see if their employers participate.

Organization E 🧪

This research foundation leverages a combined approach to marketing volunteer grants with informational content, practical tools, and more. In a detailed blog post, the team illustrates the power of volunteer grants and matching gifts, explaining the process and encouraging supporters to get involved.

From there, the blog links to the organization’s workplace giving page, which provides extensive information on various companies’ volunteer grant programs and is complete with a company search widget.

Organization F 🌳

Organization F, an environmental nonprofit, has used a digital newsletter to educate and motivate its supporters about volunteer grant opportunities amongst other content. This sample newsletter included a section dedicated to the impact of workplace giving and other unique fundraising opportunities and encouraged readers to look into their volunteer grant eligibility to strengthen their impact even further.

Organization G 🧒

This organization, which is focused on youth mentorship opportunities, ensures that information about volunteer grants and other workplace giving opportunities is easily accessible by mentioning them directly on its donation page. This strategic placement means that anyone considering a financial contribution is also made aware of the potential for additional support through volunteer grants.

By integrating this information into a key page, the nonprofit increases the likelihood that visitors will explore and take advantage of volunteer grant opportunities, enhancing their overall fundraising efforts.

Organization H 🐶

Another animal welfare nonprofit designed a “pawsitively” adorable employee giving page that overviews the top types of workplace philanthropy. Of course, this includes volunteer grants!

By offering a comprehensive overview complete with eye-catching facts and figures, the team is able to educate its supporters about various ways to contribute through their workplace. This increases participation in volunteer grant programs and maximizes funding potential overall.

Organization I 🧒

This youth-focused organization’s workplace giving page prominently highlights Dollars for Doers as a key opportunity for corporate involvement. In order to foster a complete understanding of the programs, the nonprofit’s online resource includes alternative names for these programs and details how participation can benefit both the organization and its supporters on a personal level.

Organization J 🧒

Social media can also be a great tool for marketing volunteer grants, as demonstrated by this youth and community organization. To increase awareness of the opportunity and inspire participation through social proof, the nonprofit took to Facebook to celebrate a successful volunteer grant received. The post thanks the grant-giving institution, thus fostering greater engagement, and outlines the intended use for the funding. It’s a great way to inspire others to seek volunteer grant funds on your behalf, too!

Organization K 🧒

Another Facebook post, this youth and community organization utilizes social media to raise awareness and share informational content regarding volunteer grants. Specifically, the post highlights the growing trend of such grants, details how supporters can get involved, and provides specific next steps to encourage participation.

By using social media to educate and motivate their audience, the fundraiser increases volunteer grant visibility and drives more supporters to take the intended action.

Wrapping up & additional volunteer grant marketing resources

Volunteer grants represent a tremendous opportunity for nonprofits to enhance their funding and engagement simultaneously. By educating supporters, partnering with companies in your network, and powering your promotional efforts with the right tools, your organization can optimize its volunteer grant marketing efforts with ease.

Now, it’s time to embrace the potential of volunteer grants for your cause. Incorporate the above tips and tricks in your strategy, then sit back and watch it thrive as you harness the power of corporate partnerships for your nonprofit’s mission.

Interested in learning more about leading employee philanthropy opportunities? We recommend the following resources:

Benefit more from 360MatchPro's volunteer grant marketing tools.