Preparing to Respond to Possible Donor Objectives

Adapted from Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement, by Betty Stallings.

You may need to educate a prospective funder about the value of volunteers and their abilities. Therefore, before you make your funding request, consider all the objectives, or at least concerns, a donor or funder might have when deciding whether to give you money. Then, prepare your responses. Here is an example:

Donor Objection: “My experience is that volunteers are not reliable and you might find yourself investing more in them than they return in service to the organization.

Potential Response: “I am sorry that you have had that experience with volunteers. In our organization, we do a very thorough job of selecting the right volunteers for positions available, hold volunteers accountable, and treat them as partners in our important mission. We have had remarkable success with volunteers carrying out the commitment they pledge to us. We hold re-commitment discussions with volunteers every quarter so that we can detect any dissatisfaction or needs for additional training or a change in position.”

What are the potential objections you anticipate hearing in response to your request for funds to support your involvement of volunteers? How will your respond? 

Possible Donor Objections Your Potential Response