How to Get Volunteers and Board Members to Write Grants

These are REAL questions from people in nonprofits sharing their number one struggles.

The solutions are real, three of us funding experts came together to brainstorm.


You are in a pickle. You would love to pay a consultant to write your grants, run your crowd funder, develop donors, or spearhead that fundraiser, but you do not have the cash to hire those experts. Since you can’t hire someone, you would love to learn how to do all those funding development projects yourself. You realize you could go through a course, read books, or learn from multiple media outlets and countless YouTube videos, but you run a nonprofit and just do NOT have the time.

You feel like you are stuck in the “not enough cash- not enough time” catch-22.

The Result

You run yourself in circles while not expanding your funding and see other nonprofits thrive. Why me? You ask after another 14-hour day of working at your nonprofit, putting out 10 virtual fires, and having a small win of a donation that will help your nonprofit for only one more day.

I get it, it feels like you are between a rock and a hard place…not a fun place at all. You know something has got to change, although a small part of you thinks that maybe this is just part of the growing pains of running a nonprofit.

Does this sound like you?

There is a way out of this seemingly never-ending cycle.

It’s time you tap into your volunteers and your board members. There are solutions.

Even if you do not have volunteers, now is your time to get volunteers. If you say, “yeah, but Holly, we don’t have any volunteers and have never been lucky in getting them!” This means you just aren’t marketing it right or you do not have things in place for a volunteer. Believe me, people out there actually know of the benefits of volunteering and do volunteer for certain reasons- especially if they align with a mission.

In last week’s episode, 8 Ways to Recruit & Retain Volunteers for Your Nonprofit, we pointed out that some people volunteer to:

  • Give back
  • Increase their job skills
  • Want to feel a part of something larger
  • Want to new friends and a place to socialize
  • Want to connect with like-minded individuals

Create Job Descriptions for Volunteer Roles

The further states that:

“Volunteering and helping others can also help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.”

That’s pretty cool. But, if you want to tap into these individuals and really engage them with writing grants, setting up that crowdfunding event, organizing a fundraiser, coordinating a donor base, and so forth; then you need to have things in place.

Today we are going to quickly set up a job description, so you can tap into those volunteers.

Each job description should explain the task, the outcome, the timeline, plus the qualifications, skills, and value necessary to perform the volunteer task successfully.

Before you even start recruiting volunteers, make a list of what jobs you would like volunteers to perform. We will use grant writing as an example today since this is the one thing that people reach out to me the most about (Click here to view the sample!).

This is just one example of how you can list out the work that you need help with, create job descriptions, and then hire volunteers. You do not need to personally train each volunteer.

You can tap into courses online, partners, and others to provide training for your volunteers. Although, you can always personally train them, as well but just like getting a job description set up, make sure you write out their specific jobs and walk them through the process. This way it won’t take so much of your time supervising, that you might as well get the job done yourself.

It will set up your volunteers to actually achieve something and allow you to focus on the other work that you need to do!

So I challenge you, this week, to go and write out what job roles you would love to have filled and create job descriptions for each role!

learn grant writing skills