Capacity Building for Fundraising Coordinators: A Model for Increasing Rural Community Engagement

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this project was to develop a how-to manual for coordination of fundraisers in rural communities using Newport, Virginia as a model case. In preparation for the development of the manual, 78 adults in the Newport community completed a three-part survey on trends in volunteer characteristics, reasons for volunteering, and volunteering outcomes. The results showed that the motivators were based on factors involving the volunteer as a person and others, and were not reported as impacted by any demographic differences. The volunteer outcomes were shown to be based on the participants making a worthy contribution, and thinking fundraising is necessary to a viable community. After the completion of the manual, a draft was sent to five panelists who have helped organize comparable fundraisers. Recommendations were made to conduct a follow-up survey or interview with participants from a specific fundraiser in Newport in three to six months after the how-to manual has been implemented into the community. This will assess whether or not the manual is a viable tool in organizing the fundraisers and assess how the manual is being used, expand volunteer opportunities to include more visibility and coordination with local high schools and community colleges who offer a tuition-waiver education in exchange for community service hours, and create a “Community Engagement” fund that would provide need-based funds to community members in exchange for community service.