The Volunteer Grant Research Guide Finding More Funding

The Volunteer Grant Research Guide | Finding More Funding

Volunteer grants (also known as dollars for doers programs) present a lucrative opportunity for nonprofits to maximize their available resources and bolster their impact. However, navigating the complex world of research, engagement, eligibility guidelines, and submissions can be daunting. Lucky for you, that’s where our complete guide to volunteer grant research comes into play.

Designed to demystify volunteer grant research and more, this resource equips nonprofits with the knowledge and tools they need to identify, pursue, and secure more dollars for doers revenue than ever before.

In order to build much-needed familiarity with the programs, we’ll walk you through each step of the volunteer grant research process here. These phases include:

Whether you’re a seasoned volunteer manager or new to the corporate volunteerism sector, our guide will help you uncover more funding opportunities, allowing your organization to thrive.

Let’s begin!

Understanding the Volunteer Grant Opportunity 🧠

Volunteer grants are financial contributions provided by corporations to nonprofits where their employees volunteer. These programs are offered by thousands of businesses of all shapes, sizes, and sectors⁠—including IBM, Google, Home Depot, Starbucks, Microsoft, Disney, and 40% of the Fortune 500.

However, a lack of volunteer grant awareness among teams and supporters alike has resulted in a significant gap in the programs being utilized and funding being secured. Therefore, for the best results, it’s crucial that a nonprofit’s team has a solid understanding of the volunteer grant opportunity before it can maximize its funding potential. After all, a well-informed team can more effectively communicate the benefits to volunteers, encouraging greater participation and maximizing the organization’s grant earnings.

Familiarity with companies offering these programs⁠—and the specific eligibility criteria for each⁠—is also essential for effectively targeting the right opportunities. Since each volunteer grant program is unique, having extensive knowledge of the programs allows nonprofits to tailor their outreach and engagement strategies according to each supporter’s eligibility.

Recommended resource to take your corporate volunteer knowledge to the next level: Double the Donation’s free downloadable Ultimate Guide to Volunteer Grants

Identifying Your Organization’s Needs & Goals 🎯

For a nonprofit to effectively pursue volunteer grants, it should first identify the unique needs and goals related to these grants. What, specifically, is holding your organization back from reaching its volunteer grant potential?

Perhaps you need better data on where your supporters work.

Or, if you do have accurate and up-to-date employment information for your volunteers, perhaps the roadblock is determining which individuals qualify for volunteer grant programs.

Or maybe you experience drop-off getting supporters to complete the request process on your behalf.

Regardless of the reason, once you’ve determined what’s stopping you from fully leveraging the opportunity, make a plan for overcoming the challenge. Clearly defined goals provide a roadmap for targeting volunteer grants in a way that will have the most significant impact on your cause. We recommend establishing goals that are SMART⁠—or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example: “To secure $1,000 in volunteer grant funding by the end of the fiscal year.”

A detailed understanding of your objectives allows your team to craft compelling narratives for volunteer grant-related content. As a result, you can better demonstrate how a volunteer’s participation enables your organization to achieve tangible outcomes, thus making a stronger case for engagement.

It also ensures that everyone⁠—staff, volunteers, and beyond⁠—is working toward a common objective: maximizing the potential for volunteer grant success.

Collecting Employment Information from Supporters 💼

Collecting employment information from supporters is a strategic approach for nonprofits to identify and leverage volunteer grant opportunities to their greatest potential. By understanding which companies their supporters work for, organizations can pinpoint potential sources of volunteer grants.

Fortunately, there are a few ways for fundraisers to source this information. For the best results, we recommend implementing a combination of the following methods:

Once you have this employment information on hand, you can use it to tailor your outreach and engagement efforts. For instance, knowing that a significant number of volunteers are employed by a company with a grant program might lead you to focus on building relationships with the business.

Uncovering Eligible Volunteers in Your Network 🔎

Volunteer grants are a specific type of grant generally tied to an employee engagement program offered by the company. As a result, an employer donates money to the nonprofit based on the number of volunteer hours contributed by their employees.

Recognizing which volunteers work for participating companies allows nonprofits to strategically identify and pursue the opportunities available to them.

Identifying eligible supporters within the volunteer grant research process

Ultimately, this targeted strategy leverages existing volunteer efforts to generate more substantial funding, enabling the nonprofit to further its mission and enhance its programs and services.

You might want to scan your entire database for opportunities, too⁠—including existing volunteers, donors, and prospects. From there, you can alert current volunteers of their eligibility while informing donors and other non-volunteers about how they can provide more comprehensive support for your cause, empowering them to get involved in a new way.

Top tip: Jump to the section on volunteer grant databases below to learn the best way to identify volunteer grant-eligible supporters in your network!

Encouraging Volunteers to Pursue Corporate Grants ✍️

Once you know who qualifies for volunteer grants from your network, it’s important to take time to encourage them to actually participate. By motivating eligible supporters to apply for said grant opportunities, nonprofits can unlock significant funding and supercharge their volunteer engagement.

Many volunteers are unaware that their employers offer such programs, so simply providing information on eligibility and involvement can inspire volunteers to take action. Help supporters navigate the submission process and remind them to take advantage of their eligibility before it expires. By encouraging volunteers to pursue corporate grants, your organization can significantly increase its funding, thereby enhancing its ability to fulfill its mission and expand its reach in the community.

Encouraging volunteers to log their hours and apply for grants can lead to substantial financial contributions from their employers. This approach not only boosts the organization’s funding but also strengthens volunteer engagement, as volunteers see a direct impact of their work being amplified through additional resources.

Bonus: Enlisting a Volunteer Grant Database Tool 🦾

Our final recommendation is one that is powered by innovative technology: a corporate giving or volunteer grant database.

Enlisting a volunteer grant solution like 360MatchPro in your nonprofit’s engagement strategy is an excellent way to efficiently manage and maximize volunteer grants. A database tool can centralize information, provide direct links to online submission forms and eligibility criteria, and streamline the grant application process for volunteers.

Using a volunteer grant databases within the volunteer grant research process

By aggregating all the information you need in one place, the tool saves time and effort for both the nonprofit team and its supporters. Volunteers can easily access up-to-date information about available grants, application deadlines, and eligibility requirements, and being equipped with the right information makes them more inclined to complete the process.

Next Steps & More Volunteer Grant Resources

Securing funding through volunteer grants can be transformative for mission-focused organizations. Not only do the programs provide access to new streams of corporate philanthropy revenue, but they also incentivize greater levels of engagement among volunteers in the first place.

By leveraging this guide, nonprofits like yours can systematically approach the grant research and application process with greater confidence and efficiency. Remember, the key to success lies in thorough preparation, a clear understanding of the opportunity before you, and a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience.

Let this guide be your roadmap to making a greater difference in the communities you serve. Good luck!

Interested in learning more about volunteer grant research and other workplace giving programs? Check out these recommended resources:

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