Fundraising is one of the things volunteers do, especially through special events and sales of various items. But it is a specialty topic in its own right. The resources here mainly deal with managing volunteers in money-raising activities, as well as finding funds for volunteer involvement expenses.

Advocacy for Volunteer Involvement: The Role of Funders, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
The Before Budget vs. The After Math, Carol E. Weisman, pp. 109-111, F.E. Robbins & Sons, 2000
The Correlation between Time Donors and Money Donors, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Donors and Volunteers - More Alike than Different, Susan J. Ellis, Appeared as an "On Volunteers" column in The NonProfit Times, 11/21/03
The Engagement Pyramid: Six Levels of Connecting People and Social Change, Gideon Rosenblatt, Idealware, 2010

What does it mean to "engage people"? Rosenblatt offers a new assessment of engagement levels.

Everydayhero Launches in the United States, Pioneering the Next Generation of Online Giving, Marketwire Blog, 2014

About Everydayhero, an online giving service from Blackbaud that lets people track their philanthropic activities.

Fundraising by Any Other Name. "Time Tithing" and other ways to get volunteers invovled, By Susan J. Ellis, Appeared as an "On Volunteers" column in The NonProfit Times
Fundrasing from US Companies, Nancy Bikson and David Wickert
Get the Most Support: Blending Money, Things, and People, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
Getting to Yes, Reprint of the May 8, 2002 issue of "Dear Association Leader"
How Charities Can Raise Money With Twitter and Other Social-Networking Tools
transcript of live discussion in Nov. 2008 held by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Also see transcript of Social-Media Workshop: How Nonprofit Groups Can Use Online Tools to Build Awareness and Raise Money, from February 2009.
It's Volunteers and Money, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Money is No Object, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Nonprofits: Don’t Treat Volunteers and Donors Like Crayons, Adam Clevenger, Bloomerang Blog, 2016
Raising Money through Volunteer Labor, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
Should We Ask Volunteers to Give Money on Top of Time?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Social-Media Workshop: How Nonprofit Groups Can Use Online Tools to Build Awareness and Raise Money, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2009
transcript of a live online discussion
Tips for Creating an Effective Nonprofit Campaign on Social Media, Mary Kleim, Engaging Volunteers Blog, 2016
Top Ten Reasons for Becoming a Fund Raiser, Cindy Chamberlin, Ronald A. Knott, et. al., Accent on Humor book set: The Wit and Wisdom of Philanthropy, Philanthropic Service for Institutions, 1996
Volunteering and Charitable Giving, Carolyn M. Appleton, 2013

Thoughtful discussion comparing money and time donors -- with a long list of related online.article links.

Volunteers and the Quest for Innovation, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
Volunteers? Donors? Let’s Call Them All Supporters!, Sheri Wilensky Burke, Energize Hot Topic, 2018
What Volunteer Recruiters Can Learn from #GivingTuesday, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
Where can I find information on celebrity giving?, Blog response on, 2013

Includes excellent list of Web sites and resources describing the philanthropy of famous people.

This e-book is free but requires registration to download.

From the Entrepreneurs' Foundation of SVCF, this brief document explains the concept of Dollars for Doers and includes a sample policy template.

, 2014, pp. 3

Results of the Abila Donor Engagement Study: "we decided to dig even deeper into donor behavior, to go beyond just engagement, and see what drives donor loyalty, what types of content donors really like to consume, what actions by an organization annoy donors, what role events and volunteering play, and how donors really feel when it comes to an organization spending money on overhead." Lots about Gen X and the connection of volunteering to giving money. 

, 2016, pp. 22
By Wendy Liu and Jennifer Aaker, Center for Responsible Business. Concludes that people asked to volunteer give more money than those who are not. , 2008, pp. 51

Philanthropic Trends Quarterly is produced by KCI in Canada. This issue is entirely focused on recognition of donors.  While mainly about financial giving, volunteers are included and many of the ideas are important for volunteer recognition, too. Also available in French.

, 2012, pp. 8

Written by CNIB for people who would like to become volunteers to support fundraising, including those who are interested in holding or supporting fundraising events and campaigns. Accompanied by a Toolkit.

, 2017
Bank of America Philanthropic Solutions

Site that provides detailed information about the grantmaking focus of approximately 70 foundations, including their missions, application procedures, proposal deadlines, and contact information. Currently (2010), the site is an introductory portal for foundations distributing charitable grants in: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Benevon Model of Fundraising

Benevon trains and coaches nonprofit organizations to implement a mission-based system for raising sustainable funding from individual donors. View free  videos and read documents explaining the "Benevon Mondel."

Carolyn's Nonprofit Blog

By Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE.  Mainly about fundraising, but often mentioning volunteers.

Contributions Magazine Archive Library

Archived articles on all aspects of fundraising and other related issues from this bimonthly print publication. Also see section called "Panascope" for insightful articles by philanthropy expert, Jerold Panas.

Donor Dream Blog (Category: Volunteers)

Erik Anderson writes this blog about donor relations and one of his categories is volunteers -- specifically how to work with nonprofit boards of directors.  This link takes you to the compilation of posts archived under "volunteer," but you can also view posts on fundraising and other topics.

The Foundation Center FAQs

The venerable Foundation Center site has lots of information for grantseekers, and this FAQ list is great, especialy for beginners.

Fundraiser Grrl

"Because non-profit shouldn't be non-fun." Blog and an e-newsletter by Canadian Rory Green, which she self-describes as "One grrl's cheeky observations about life in fundraising."

The Grantsmanship Center Magazine

Archives of articles on all aspects of fundraising.


Great amount of information on how to fundraise through grants.

How to Plan and Participate in Giving Tuesday and Other ‘Giving Day’ Events

The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers a range of downloadable resources on how to make the most of single-day fundraisers.


Unique international program offering the management of volunteers for nonprofit conferences and events, at no charge except expenses. For eligibility details and a summary of their work, see:

InitLive Blog

Frequent posts with hints for involving volunteers in live events of all sorts, from InitLive, a technology business that provides "our customers with the tools they need to support their team before, during, and after their event."

Institute for Social Entrepreneurs

Jerr Boschee is a leading authority on social entrepreneurship, the strategy of building economically viable businesses that focus on sustainable development and serving community needs. This site provides information, education and training resources to help launch and expand social enterprises in the United States and around the world. Many free resources to download.

Institute of Fundraising (UK)

Has developed a series of codes of practice in fundraising for the UK. See especially the "Volunteer Fundraising Code of Practice."

Look to the Stars: Charitable and Philanthropic Celebrities

Searchable site on the philanthropic work of 3000+ celebrities -- what causes they support with volunteering and money.

Network for Good Learning Center

Provides online fundraising services and training to nonprofit organizations through fundraising tools, e-newsletter communications, free teleconferences presented by industry leaders and its Learning Center. In 2008 it acquired

PACE - Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

A learning community, not a funding community, of grantmakers and donors committed to strengthening democracy by using the power, influence and resources of philanthropy to open pathways to civic, democratic and community participation. PACE does not make grants or serve as a conduit for those seeking grants from PACE members. - Promotion

"How to Organize & Promote an Event or Meeting" portal and guide for activists.

PTO Today "Focus on Fundraising"

Archived articles on all sorts of fundraising ideas for leaders of parent/teacher groups but applicable to any organization. Blog (formerly VolunteerSpot)

Online scheduling site VolunteerSpot's blog shares ideas, tips and best practices for informal volunteer leaders about improving the volunteer experience, fundraising and streamlining volunteer coordination.

Any one person is connected to any other person through six or fewer relationships, because it's a small world. (founded by Kevin Bacon and Network for Good) is about using this idea to accomplish something good (social networking with a social conscience). Support favorite charities by donating or creating fundraising *badges* - as well as check out the favorite causes of other people, including celebrities.

Social Velocity (blog)

Focused on helping nonprofits create a growth or strategic plan, determine how to bring more money in the door, and get their boards engaged and invested.

Social Ventures Partners

"A network of engaged philanthropists who believe that they can have a positive impact on their communities and who use innovative strategies to address complex social issues."

Venture Philanthropy Partners

"A philanthropic investment organization that helps great leaders build strong, high-performing nonprofit institutions."

Volunteer Spot

Free site designed to enable anyone to quickly mobilize, coordinate , and schedule volunteers in their community, congregation and social network to accomplish projects more easily.

Youth in Philanthropy - Association of Fundraising Professionals

This section of AFP’s website is devoted to efforts to encourage young people to become actively involved in philanthropy and fundraising.  

Youth Service America Blog

Youth Service America shares current news, information, and grant opportunities from the service-learning and youth service fields, including stories of youth successful in helping their communities.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

From the Top Down UK edition book cover

UK Edition of the best-selling book that identifies the critical link between the actions of an organisation’s senior management and the overall success of volunteer engagement.

"Fun weekly videos to help nonprofits raise money, steward donors, and inspire board members," produced by Chris Davenport with a range of guest presenters.  A new, short video (usually less than 5 minutes) comes out every Monday and you get the link via e-mail. 

John Suart, the Canadian nonprofit humour writer and marketing consultant created this 4 minute video. "Announcing the official end of Words as a communications technique for non-profits. Forget writing a wall of words. Instead use video. It's effective, engaging and, now, accessible. See this video and see for yourself." Quite a case for producing videos for fundraising and recruiting volunteers.

Bringing Volunteer Contributions to the Attention of Financial Donors
From Susan J. Ellis, President, Energize, Inc.

Knowing whether and how an organization engages volunteers reveals a great deal about that organization - facts that any funder, accrediting agency, or donor would want to know. When your organization seeks donations or grants, does it include relevant information about volunteer involvement to bolster its case?

Head counts and tallies of hours served are of least importance, as these do not explain who volunteers are and what they actually do. Present data to your executives in ways that actively support fundraising. For example:

  • Specify what percentage of volunteers come from the immediate community or population the organization serves, to indicate the level of support or acceptance from those in a position to know firsthand. Also, if you engage volunteers from your target client population - whether youth, seniors, people with disabilities, or others - it demonstrates a willingness to work with as well as for the people you serve, and gains the opportunity for useful input and perspective.
  • Effective engagement of exceptional volunteers shows the ability to attract and manage all the resources available to the organization. When volunteers bring a wide variety of skills, beyond those already available on staff, they enable you to diversify the scope of service programs considerably.
  • The presence of student interns from various universities and disciplines is an indicator of the high professional standing of the staff.
  • Explain how volunteers experiment with or pilot test ideas that are not yet ready to be funded. What an organization asks volunteers to do on the behalf of its mission demonstrates creativity and determination to find new solutions.
  • Vibrant volunteer engagement that includes people of all ages and demographic diversity, and that is able to recruit new volunteers all the time, shows that the organization is staying current.

Conversely, prospective donors can be influenced in the opposite direction:


  • If the volunteer corps is totally different from those served or lives far away, might there be issues of local community acceptance?
  • A moribund volunteer corps that is "aging in place" with no new participants may be a significant warning sign of other concerns.
  • The absence of volunteers (except, of course, on the board of directors) may indicate poor fiscal stewardship, since the organization's leaders see building the payroll as the only way to staff the services. There are some of us who will not donate money to an organization unwilling to involve volunteers beyond special events and clerical work. Shouldn't this be of equal concern to foundations and government granting officials?

In the last analysis, donors and funders should be helped to understand the philosophy of volunteer engagement of an organization. Most important is to differentiate those who involve volunteers because they are "cheap labor" from those who have a vision of volunteers to expand the capacity of the organization to do the most effective work.