Earth Day Community Engagement Tips for Environmental Nonprofits

Donor Acquisition and Retention

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Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 and was recognized worldwide by 1990. The brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the holiday encourages budding and veteran conservationists alike to reduce waste, conserve resources, plant trees, and clean up wildlife areas to create a better future for our planet. This Earth Day, Qgiv celebrates the many environmental nonprofits that use our tools to fund their causes. These organizations treat every day like it’s Earth Day and help preserve nature for future generations to learn about and enjoy.

One such nonprofit, Big Sur Land Trust, has been focusing on the conservation of land in Monterey County, California since 1978. The organization has conserved 40,000 acres of land throughout the county and are accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. Their peer-to-peer event, the Race for Open Space, raised over $12,000 for land conservation this year.

A community of volunteers make the conservation efforts of Big Sur Land Trust possible. Volunteers also help with the organization’s Youth Outdoor Programs, which offer day and summer camp options for children who don’t normally have easy access to outdoor recreation. If you’re an eco-nonprofit like Big Sur Land Trust, volunteers likely play a large part in your efforts to make the world cleaner and greener. Earth Day could be your opportunity to recruit dedicated volunteers and donors who are willing to support you beyond the holiday. Use these tips to make meaningful relationships with environmentally-conscious individuals and organizations in your community.

Ask your advocates to introduce your nonprofit

Your volunteers and major donors are passionate about your cause. Ask them to reach out to their friends and family and recruit them to help with projects and fundraising events. Recruiting new supporters can be tricky without having an “in” with them. Use your current network to cast a wider net when recruiting volunteers and donors to your cause this year.

It’s important to note your advocates should be knowledgeable of the work your nonprofit does and the types of tasks volunteers can do to help. It’s helpful to orient your dedicated supporters to their advocate role through a quick introductory class or a series of emails. Prep some cheat sheets they can reference to answer common questions. Arm your advocates with a web-based sign-up form they can give to those interested in volunteering. That way, you capture new volunteer information directly and your advocates can recruit new volunteers efficiently in real time with no paperwork to hand in at the office.

Looking for ideas? Here’s a place to start! This blog entry breaks down how to turn your donors into advocates.

Ask local community groups for help

If your nonprofit needs recurring help with ongoing initiatives or has a major project that requires more volunteers, Earth Day is a good time to resolve to reach out to local community service organizations for help. Churches, youth groups, and other local civic organizations will likely be more than happy to help with your volunteer work.

The best part is, when you ask for this help, you are making valuable connections with these organizations’ leaders. They may be able to mobilize their network to support you for one-time event help. You may even gain access to an entire group of new supporters willing to repeatedly serve your nonprofit.

Want more tips on where to find volunteers? Here are some ideas.

Ask for DIY Fundraising support

This is another tip that requires engaging your supporters. Reach out to volunteers and donors and ask them to set up a DIY Fundraiser to support your cause. This can be in celebration of Earth Day, their birthday, or other important life events they celebrate. Ask them to put their social networks to use to raise funds in support of your cause.

Offer your supporters ideas and tips to be successful. Remind them about Facebook birthday fundraisers and ask them to support you in this way. If you’ve hosted fundraisers with local businesses, give your supporters a list of fundraiser-friendly businesses they can reach out to for a venue for their own DIY Fundraiser. They can ask those supporters to share profits or just offer a space for their DIY fundraiser to be held.

If you’re not familiar with DIY fundraising, here’s a breakdown of how it works and some examples from our clients.

Host an Earth Day celebration

If you’re looking to get more community support, start by hosting a celebration on Earth Day. Make the event open to the public and free to attend. When recruiting new volunteers and supporters, first you’ll want to introduce your organization and show them the work you do. Think of this Earth Day event as a “friend raiser” instead of a fundraiser. Offer your guests a quick tour, make a presentation, and offer family-friendly refreshments and activities. Have your best advocates there to mingle with attendees and pitch them on volunteering or fundraising for your organization.


Harness the power of Earth Day to recruit new supporters to your environmental nonprofit. The event naturally inspires more people to participate in conservation and clean up activities. Engage your community through your advocates or volunteer groups. This is a great way to meet people interested in volunteering or even hosting DIY fundraisers to support your cause. Don’t forget the power of parties, either. Invite the community to see the work you do, celebrate what environmentally-conscious people helped achieve, and recruit new supporters.

Want to learn more?

If you’re looking for tools that will help you set up DIY fundraisers, connect with donors, and raise more money online, we can help! Learn more about our fundraising tools on our website. If you like what you see, contact us for a demo! We’ll learn more about your organization and your goals, then give you a personalized, one-on-one tour of our platform.

Request a demo to see how Qgiv can help you execute your school and club fundraising ideas.

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