Triple Threats: Volunteers who donate.


              Around here we talk about a group that is pretty special to us, we refer to them as our Triple Threats. These are the individuals who give us their: time, treasure and talent.  For example our board members are triple threats. We recruit members to our board who have specific skill sets that we need (talent) ,they all donate in various ways and they devote their time to board meetings, committee meeting and events. However fortunately we also have other volunteers beyond our board members who are triple threats. Most research I have read about volunteers is that they are more likely to donate to charity and in general they donate more.

          Turcotte (2012) in his report, Charitable giving by Canadians describes: “It is well-known that giving, volunteering and helping others are all strongly associated: people who participate in one of these activities are also more likely to participate in another. In addition to having stronger pro-social values, people who do volunteer work are more likely to be solicited for a donation in the course of their activities and to experience social pressure (especially if this pressure comes from people they know well).Thus, in 2010, among people who had performed 60 or more hours of volunteer work in the previous year, 91% made donations, giving an average of $784 In comparison, 79% of those who had not volunteered during the year had made donations, averaging $288.” Even though volunteers are more likely to donate they may not necessarily donate to the organization they volunteer for.  There can be a number of reasons for this, but for our organization for a long period of time we held a view point that our volunteers gave us their time- we should ask them for their money too.  However reading research that had the same conclusions as the Turcotte study, made us realize that besides being foolish this notion was not helping our fundraising efforts.  Some of our volunteers were volunteering in our House and donating to the charities across the street (literally).

           There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada; according to the national charity 5000 volunteers support those Houses. We have more than our share of good luck as over 1300 of those volunteers (or 26%) support our two Ronald McDonald Houses in Calgary and Red Deer.  Each year more and more of our volunteers become triple threats and we have employed a few tactics to make our volunteers aware of how they can financially support us. However one of the things we are launching this year is a new way we are thanking and recognizing our triple threats. The photo above is of a lapel pin that we had made for our volunteers. The three stars represent family members in the families we support but as well they represent: Time, Treasure, and Talent.  We have already presented our board members these, but as well at this year’s volunteer appreciation event we will be giving out these pins as well. They will be given to volunteers who both give their time as well as participate in our monthly giving program. If you don’t understand why we would focus on the monthly giving program you can read this blog post that explains why a charity might focus on this program:


Turcotte, M (2012) Charitable giving by Canadians, as retrieved from:



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