Create Infrastructure to Generate More Revenue

Building site scaffoldingThe American Cancer Society (ACS) depends on volunteers to help generate revenue. Most volunteers start through two events: the Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Many volunteers remain active for decades.

“The key,” said Ralph DeVitto, Executive Vice President for the Florida Division, “is to remain engaged with the volunteers.”

Staff at the American Cancer Society:

  • Organize internally so that staff links to a specific volunteer groups.
  • Urge volunteers to attend education events.
  • Encourage volunteers to use the ACS Volunteer Learning Center.
  • When staff turnover occurs, link volunteers to a centralized on-line support system.   

On whom do you depend for income? What infrastructure do you have to keep people who help you generate it engaged?  Do you have a plan for turnover?

Take a piece of paper. Invest five minutes and draw your plan. Note holes to fill. Note connections to re-enforce. Draw your way to sustainability and…profits!   

By the way, Hodgkinson and Weitzman conducted a study that found that 90 percent of volunteers contribute financially to the nonprofit for which they work. So, you can count on volunteers to contribute financially–even if you don’t depend on them to generate revenue like the American Red Cross.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.