This guide shares insight into some of the top impact investors in the nonprofit space.

A Spotlight on 10 Top Impact Investors Driving Social Change

Starting a business that’s focused on social good is noble, but like almost all businesses, it requires financial support to flourish. Fortunately, there’s a growing group of investors who are passionate about more than just making money—they want to make a difference.

In a world where profit meets purpose, impact investors are reshaping the business landscape by investing capital into startups and small companies dedicated to making a positive difference.

If you’re a founder of a social good startup looking for investors who share your values, you’re in the right spot. In this article, we’ll introduce you to remarkable social good investors who are actively seeking out companies committed to positive change, including anything from fundraising technology vendors to Google Grants agencies. Here’s what we’ll cover:

If you’re a founder with a vision, these investors could be your key to success. As a company that’s powered by mission-driven investors, our team at NXUnite is excited to share our unique perspective and help you understand the role these groups are making.

Click here to talk to our recommended social good investors, Foundry for Good.

Understanding Impact Investing

Before shining the spotlight on specific investors, let’s take a step back and start with the fundamentals of impact investing. We’ll walk through basic questions, so you can make an informed decision when choosing an investor for your business.

What is impact investing?

Impact investing is when a business or other entity invests in companies or organizations with the dual aim of achieving financial returns and positive impacts. Unlike traditional investments that focus primarily on financial gains, impact investing strongly emphasizes achieving measurable outcomes in social good areas like environmental sustainability, education, poverty, social justice, and healthcare.

This graphic defines the term Impact Investment.

Key aspects of impact investing include:

  • Value Alignment: Social good investors seek investments that align with their values and social or environmental goals.
  • Measurable Impact: These investments are intended to produce quantifiable and positive societal or environmental outcomes. As such, investors use various metrics to assess their investments’ impact.
  • Financial Returns: While intended to create positive change, impact investing should still be financially viable and competitive with traditional investments.
  • Diverse Focus Areas: Impact investments cover a range of sectors, such as renewable energy, education, and affordable housing.

While these investments involve several moving parts, impact investing is essentially leveraging capital to create positive change, earn revenue, and drive innovation across the social good sector.

Does impact investing make a difference?

Yes, it does! Impact investing has gained momentum as individuals and businesses increasingly recognize their ability to address pressing global challenges while also earning financial benefits.

By directing capital into businesses and initiatives that aim to drive change, impact investing provides these benefits:

  • Scaling Social Innovation: Impact investing funds innovative and socially responsible startups and small businesses. This financial support helps recipients expand operations, reach more people, and accelerate impact.
  • Attracting More Capital: The success of impact investments can inspire other investors to allocate their capital toward socially and environmentally responsible initiatives. In other words, they create a snowball effect of positive change.
  • Aligning Values and Finance: Impact investing allows businesses to align their financial resources with their values and missions, ensuring their investments have a meaningful impact on the world.

Overall, impact investing enables investors to use their financial resources strategically to drive positive change, solve global challenges, and promote a more sustainable and equitable future. It demonstrates that financial returns and ESG impact can be mutually reinforcing.

How do I find social impact investors?

Browsing lists like this one is a good start. Consider following industry blogs or using online investment platforms like Toniic and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Directory. These platforms connect social impact entrepreneurs with potential investors.

You can also join impact investing conferences and networking events. These gatherings attract social impact investors, foundations, and philanthropic organizations. Attend these events and start conversations with potential funders for your business.

What’s the difference between impact investing and ESG investing?

While similar, these two types of investments have a key difference.

Impact investors focus on generating specific, measurable, and positive social or environmental impacts alongside financial returns. Meanwhile, environmental, social, or governance (ESG) investors incorporate ESG factors into the investment decision-making process.

ESG investors look for companies that meet specific ESG requirements, but the companies they invest in aren’t necessarily part of the social good sector. For example, an investor might use ESG standards to assess a for-profit clothing store’s supply chain practices. By integrating these non-financial factors into their investment strategies, they aim to mitigate risks and ensure they support businesses that will be sustainable long-term.

Focus Area: Mission-Driven Businesses Such As Nonprofit Technology and Consulting Services

With a diverse background of investments, Foundry For Good knows how to take your social impact further. They won’t just invest capital; they’ll infuse your mission-driven startup with strategic marketing solutions.

Foundry for Good provides you with direct access to experts in philanthropy and change, like the changemakers here at NXUnite!

Here are their primary areas of focus:

This chart breaks down Foundry for Good's impact investment services.
  • Content and Inbound Strategy: They’ll create content tailored to your brand, increase brand visibility with content on influential websites, help you stay ahead in search engine traffic via keyword research, and regularly audit your content. Essentially, they’ll elevate your content strategy both on and offsite.
  • Performance Reporting: Foundry for Good will conduct robust technical audits and rectify high-priority SEO issues to give your site the strongest foundation possible to attract potential customers. With detailed reports, they’ll keep you in the loop on inbound lead generation, keyword performance, and technical performance.
  • Mission-Driven PR with NXUnite: Join our community of like-minded businesses, leverage sponsored emails, be a part of panels, and lead exclusive webinars to generate leads and grow your business.

Backed by a passionate team, a network of mission-driven businesses, and cutting-edge marketing strategies, Foundry for Good will make sure your business’s impact is felt.

Notable Impact Investments

Foundry for Good has an evergrowing portfolio of social good investments. Some of their companies making a difference include:

These are the businesses that Foundry for Good has invested in.
  • NXUnite by Nexus Marketing offers our vibrant online community that brings brands and mission-driven professionals together through webinars, online directories, and educational content. It’s a place where we showcase our friends in the industry, help them forge new connections, and foster unity across the mission-driven sector.
  • Double the Donation is the leading provider of matching gift software to nonprofits and educational institutions. It provides access to the world’s most robust database of corporate matching gift program records, covering over 99% of match-eligible donors.
  • Nexus Marketing is the only digital marketing agency specializing in social good professionals and how they find the products, people, and services they need. We offer SEO and content marketing services for brands powering community impact.
  • eCardWidget provides adaptable eCard software, ideal for everything from nonprofits thanking donors to businesses inspiring employees. Thanks to its customizability, eCardWidget empowers users to create custom eCards branded to their cause or business within seconds.
  • Getting Attention provides Google Ad Grant services to nonprofits. Their global team helps nonprofits through every stage of the grant management process, including everything from applying for the grant to creating ads and maintaining eligibility. With their expert help, Getting Attention clients can make the most of their $10,000 in ad credits each month.

If you’re looking for a reliable impact investor, we can’t sing Foundry for Good’s praises enough! Chat with their team to see if they’re the right fit for your business.

Click here to talk to the mission-driven investors at Foundry for Good.

Other Social Good Investors Making A Difference

We’ve used a variety of methods to evaluate these remaining investors, such as selecting ones with substantial assets under management (AUM), which is the total market value of investments they manage.

Whether you’re looking for nonprofit technology investors, consulting agency investors, or mission-driven investors in general, there’s something for every small business wanting to power their social impact initiative.

This graphic shows the logos of several other top impact investors.


Focus Area: Sustainable Infrastructure

Actis is a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure. Since its inception in 2004, this impact investor has raised $24 billion to invest in a better tomorrow. They invest in energy infrastructure, long life infrastructure, digital infrastructure, real estate, and private equity.

Actis has a long history of building businesses. Today, it has 17 offices across the globe, enabling them to invest in meaningful opportunities wherever they may come from. They have an impressive portfolio of organizations they’ve invested in, including energy infrastructure companies like Atlas Renewable Energy, long life infrastructure companies like Emicool, and private equity firms like Upstream Systems.

Bain Capital

Focus Areas: Health and Wellness, Education and Workforce Development, and Sustainability

Established in 1984, Bain Capital is a private investment firm with approximately $180 billion in AUM.

While known for its traditional investment activities, Bain Capital has an impact investing arm called Bain Capital Double Impact. With this division of their firm, they invest in companies and initiatives that address social and environmental challenges, such as healthcare, education, sustainability, and social equality.

One example of their work is their recent partnership with Meteor Education. With Bain Capital’s support, they aim to expand Meteor Education into new markets and advance its mission to support educators in creating enriching learning experiences.

Bamboo Capital Partners

Focus Areas: Financial Inclusion, Access to Clean Energy, Access to Healthcare, and Agribusiness

Founded in 2007, Bamboo Capital Partners has a global presence in impact investing markets. Bamboo aims to improve the lives of marginalized communities while delivering financial returns. It employs a blended finance approach and works with partners (such as foundations and other impact investors) to jumpstart opportunities brought to them.

Bamboo specifically targets companies with products, services, or operations that lead to positive social and/or environmental changes. For example, that might mean a business that improves the quality of life or one that increases efficiencies to reduce expenses for target populations.

BlueOrchard Finance S.A.

Focus Areas: Financial Inclusion and Poverty Alleviation

With principal offices in Switzerland, BlueOrchard Financial operates in more than 100 emerging and frontier markets in various areas like Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. It was founded as part of a United Nations initiative in 2001 as the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investment worldwide. That makes it an impact investment pioneer.

Now, BlueOrchard is majority-owned by asset management business, Schroders, and has a global reach of more than 280 million people. Schroders targets sophisticated investors and global initiatives that fight inequality and the effects of climate change. They have a presence in the microfinance, agriculture, renewable energy, healthcare, and education sectors.

One of BlueOrchard’s recent investments is ChargeZone, a fast-growing electric vehicle charging company located in India. BlueOrchard invested in the company to fund the roll-out of 286 charging stations, serving 1,130 electric buses.

Generation Investment Management

Focus Areas: Global Equity, Asia Equity, Growth Equity, and Private Equity

Founded by Al Gore and David Blood in 2004, Generation Investment Management has pioneered the development of sustainability and ESG investing. Known for its commitment to impact investing, this firm strives to deliver long-term financial returns while addressing global sustainability challenges like environmental degradation.

It employs a sustainable capitalistic approach, emphasizing that “sustainability factors have a material impact on companies’ returns over the long term.”

Hamilton Lane

Focus Areas: Professional Services, Renewable Energy, and Software

With 22 years of impact investing experience, Hamilton Lane is a leading, global investment manager providing private markets solutions. Since 2001, they’ve invested in mission-driven solutions and now have $3.1 billion in assets related to impact strategies. What’s more, they report on the impact of their investments to ensure they help companies drive social change. Examples of metrics include energy savings, water cleaned, and reduction in CO2 emissions.

In March 2022, Hamilton Lane released a Climate Policy Statement to communicate its dedication to the global search for climate-change solutions. They also pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Some of Hamilton Lane’s investments include:

  • Intersect Power, which develops large utility-scale renewable energy with a focus on solar and battery-storage projects.
  • TXO Systems, which provides B2B circular economy solutions for telecommunications and related industries through selling, reusing, repairing, and recycling equipment.
  • Neuroflow, which provides behavioral health software that uses digital features to reinforce in-person clinical care.

Meridiam Infrastructure

Focus Areas: Critical Public Services, Sustainable Mobility, and Innovative Low Carbon Solutions

Meridiam Infrastructure is driven by its mission to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality. They translated these goals into their organization’s five strategic pillars:

  1. Deliver resilient infrastructure and develop resilient cities.
  2. Accelerate energy transition.
  3. Avoid & reduce emissions.
  4. Promote good work conditions, inclusion, diversity & gender equality.
  5. Protect & enhance biodiversity.

Driven by these pillars, they strive to build resilient communities, tackle climate change, and protect the environment. They do so by supporting and accelerating the development of innovative, ambitious SMEs leading the ecological transition.

Meridiam Infrastructure currently manages more than 120 assets in the social good sector around the world. One investment example is Okamac, which is the European leader of Apple computer reconditioning. Meridiam Infrastructure invested in Okamac to participate in the decarbonization of the computing sector by supporting a global champion of computer reconditioning.


Focus Areas: Climate and Conservation, Education, Financial Inclusion, Food and Agriculture, Healthcare, and Impact Services

Launched in 1992, TPG is now a leading global alternative asset manager. They launched The Rise Fund in 2016, making them the first global alternative asset manager to develop an impact investing business with more than $1 billion in AUM. Today, they have more than $18 billion in AUM.

They believe that private enterprise is critical in addressing global societal changes, and their Impact platform helps drive competitive financial returns and measurable societal benefits. Here’s an overview of their investment funds:

  • The Rise Fund offers investment resources, business-building skills, and a global network to grow profitable businesses seeking to deliver positive and sustainable impact.
  • TPG Rise Climate is their dedicated climate impact investing product. This fund was created to address global climate change challenges and scale innovative businesses that can enable quantifiable carbon aversion.
  • Evercare is a healthcare fund that strives to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare.

Ideal for companies looking for a vast network, TPG has a substantial global network for raising capital and driving value in their investments. Some of their investments include Palmetto, which expands access to clean energy for homeowners and businesses, and Teachers of Tomorrow, which focuses on creating education leaders.

Turner Impact Capital

Focus Areas: Educational Facilities, Affordable Housing, and Healthcare Facilities

As one of the fastest-growing social impact investors, Turner Impact Capital specializes in investing in and developing real estate projects that positively influence society and generate financial returns. They work to address critical societal challenges, particularly in underserved communities, to help create positive change in communities where their investments can make a measurable difference.

For example, they invest in the development and improvement of affordable workforce housing and community healthcare centers in low-income areas.

Final Thoughts on These Social Good Investors

Impact investing isn’t just about dollars and cents; it’s about making a meaningful impact. Impact investing bridges the gap between profit-driven business and social good. For founders of startups and small social good companies, the right investor can be a game-changer.

Again, we recommend chatting with Foundry for Good, a social good investor who’s actively investing in businesses that cater to nonprofits.

As you continue along in your journey, explore these additional resources:

Click this image to chat with the top impact investors at Foundry for Good.

Connect your nonprofit with local businesses.

4 Tips for Connecting Your Nonprofit With Local Businesses

Whether you’re seeking sponsorship, volunteer support, or joint marketing opportunities, establishing partnerships with businesses in your community is a powerful way to enhance your nonprofit’s impact. However, developing these partnerships can be challenging, time-consuming, and confusing without a strategic plan in place. 

In this guide, we’ll explore four tips for connecting your nonprofit with local businesses. From identifying potential partners to creating win-win collaborations, these insights will help you build strong cross-sector relationships that support your mission and drive positive change in your communities.

1. Research and Identify Potential Partners

To identify potential partners in the community, a nonprofit can follow these steps:

  • Define your objectives. Nonprofits often seek partnerships when organizing a large-scale fundraising event, launching a community initiative, or implementing a specific program that requires additional financial resources and support.
  • Research local businesses. Conduct thorough research to identify businesses in the community. Utilize online directories, local business associations, chamber of commerce listings, and social media platforms to identify potential partners.
  • Ensure your values align. Evaluate the values, missions, and corporate social responsibility initiatives of the identified businesses. Look for businesses that have a natural connection or alignment with your cause or mission. For example, a dog daycare business would be an obvious match for an animal shelter since they have similar clients and services. 

Reach out to the identified businesses to introduce your nonprofit and express interest in exploring a potential partnership. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings. 

2. Establish Clear Benefits

As you connect with local businesses, introduce your mission and communicate the benefits of a partnership. These may include: 

  • Community development: Partnering with a nonprofit allows businesses to contribute to community development and address social issues, which can have a direct impact on their growth.
  • Elevated brand reputation. Collaborating with a nonprofit allows businesses to align themselves with a mission or social good cause, which can enhance their brand reputation and perception among customers, employees, and influencers in the community. 
  • Increased brand awareness. Add the business’s contact information and logo to marketing materials like fundraising flyers, event invitations, and partnership-related emails to increase their brand visibility. Or, create a personalized video about your sponsor and post it to your social media pages.
  • Employee morale and engagement. Most employees value working for a socially responsible company. Creating matching gift programs, introducing volunteer opportunities, and sponsoring local nonprofits can improve their satisfaction. 
  • Tax benefits. Businesses may be eligible for tax benefits or incentives when they donate or support nonprofit organizations. These financial incentives can provide a tangible benefit to the business, helping to offset costs or improve the bottom line.

Customize these benefits to suit the specific goals, needs, and sectors of the businesses you’re approaching. For example, a pet rescue organization might ask a dog trainer to financially support their upcoming adoption event. In return, the pet rescue will use Gingr’s pet business software to promote the dog trainer’s services, potentially leading to an influx of new customers. 

3. Create Tailored Partnership Opportunities

Develop opportunities that cater to different types and sizes of businesses. Offer a range of options, such as:

  • Sponsorship opportunities: Sponsorships come in the form of financial or in-kind contributions. To incentivize larger gifts, Double the Donation’s guide to corporate sponsorships recommends creating tiered benefit packages that correlate to the level of support given. For instance, when you receive a donation of $10,000 or more, you might mention the business in a speech and display its logo on partnership-related materials. Businesses that give less than this might receive a social media shoutout instead.
  • Auction item donations: Many businesses have relevant products or services that would be valuable items to auction off at your next event. For example, a local hotel could offer a weekend stay, or an airline headquartered in your city could offer round-trip tickets. No matter what the business has to offer make sure you’re thoughtful about how you make your auction item donation request.
  • Joint initiatives: A joint initiative is a collaboration between a nonprofit and a partner organization, in which both work to create a mutually beneficial event, program, or campaign. It involves pooling resources and networks to achieve a greater impact than either organization could achieve alone. 
  • Employee engagement programs: Employee engagement programs focus on involving employees of a business or organization in volunteer activities, fundraising efforts, or other activities that support your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Research collaborations: Nonprofits and businesses might partner together to research studies or projects related to their missions. For example, an animal welfare organization might partner with a dog boarding business to research the safest, most effective accommodations. 

After presenting a business with a partnership opportunity, gauge their interest and thank them for their consideration, regardless of their decision. That way, they will be left with a positive impression of your organization.

4. Demonstrate Impact

If a business agrees to be your partner, take notes throughout the partnership, making note of successes and areas of improvement. 

Then, in your outreach, explain the impact that the partnership has made on your nonprofit and the community as a whole. Share success stories, testimonials, or data that highlight the tangible outcomes of your programs or initiatives. This builds credibility and instills confidence in other potential business partners, showing them how their involvement will make a difference.

Remember, connecting with local businesses requires building meaningful relationships based on shared values and mutual benefits. By taking a strategic and personalized approach, your nonprofit can form valuable partnerships that amplify your impact and strengthen the communities you serve.

This guide will cover the top types of educational resources for nonprofit professionals.

Top Educational Resources for Nonprofit Professionals

Nonprofit professionals are used to wearing many hats while working for their organization—from serving as event planners to social media managers to volunteer coordinators. At times, however, nonprofit team members will encounter projects and tasks that they don’t have prior experience in handling. What do they do then?

While some recommend that nonprofits outsource specialized work, such as leveraging a marketing agency to take charge of creating collateral, not all organizations have the budget to do so. That’s where educational resources come in. These resources provide nonprofit professionals, such as yourself, with a lower-cost way to develop their skills and grow professionally.

In this guide, we’ll go over the most helpful resources for nonprofit professionals by discussing each of their unique benefits and drawbacks. Let’s get started!

This image lists three types of nonprofit educational resources: blog posts, books, and conferences, covered in more detail in the text below.

1. Blog Posts

In this age of technology, you likely look toward blog posts and other websites whenever you’re out of your element, including searching for new fundraising ideas or event planning tips. Blog posts are a top educational resource because they serve as a first stop for professionals seeking more information about specific nonprofit topics. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of this resource:


Here are some of the benefits of blog posts as an educational resource:

  • Easily accessible. Blog posts are accessible to everyone through search engines such as Google or Bing. It’s super convenient for you to type in the right keywords and click on the relevant blog posts, empowering you to kickstart your learning journey.
  • Lively visuals. Authors of blogs often embed multimedia elements into their posts, such as video walk-throughs, resulting in a more engaging and academically enriching experience for the reader. For example, an all-text blog post describing how to apply for Google grants might be difficult to parse. But if it’s broken up with relevant images and videos, then the information becomes much easier to digest.
  • Cost-effective. For the most part, access to blog posts is free, making this option extremely cost-effective. This is extremely valuable for nonprofit professionals who may not have access to a learning budget or stipend.

Though blog posts have a variety of benefits for nonprofit professionals, they also have some drawbacks.


Here are some of the drawbacks of blog posts as an educational resource:

  • Questionable authority. Depending on which blog you’re looking at, it may be difficult to gauge the authority of the writer. Not everyone who writes nonprofit content is involved in the industry, making it crucial for you to vet blog authors and websites before you take their word as fact.
  • Varying depth. Blog posts may vary in quality and length even on the same blogroll. Many posts may cover surface-level topics such as fundraising, but may not dive more deeply into actionable tips your organization can take today. For example, a post could cover the benefits of hybrid fundraising events, but not how to organize a hybrid event.
  • Unstructured content. A blogroll will likely cover many different topics rather than go in-depth on a single topic. If you’re specifically interested in one topic, this resource’s format can hinder your learning, as you may need to access multiple blogs to gain the depth of knowledge you seek.

If you’re looking for a surface-level overview of a nonprofit topic, then blog posts are a great educational resource for you due to their accessible and cost-effective nature. However, if you’re looking for more robust educational materials, then consider one of the next resources.

2. Books

Elevate Nonprofit explains that books can impart a wealth of knowledge and inspire your organization’s fundraising strategy. They are an invaluable resource to learn new strategies and practices and glean insights from the past. However, like blog posts, they have their unique benefits and drawbacks.


Here are some of the benefits of books as an educational resource:

  • Depth of knowledge. Books usually thoroughly cover a single topic, allowing you to gain the depth of knowledge you seek. For example, if you’re researching how to boost event revenue, a book might cover common pitfalls, best practices, and even top event ideas for generating revenue.
  • Wide range of topics. Although books generally dive deeply into one subject, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck if you’re researching multiple subjects. There are millions of unique books out there on a variety of topics, making it easy for you to find one that suits your needs. Plus, books give you access to many different perspectives, as it’s common to read two books on the same topic with very different viewpoints.
  • Variety of formats. While you may be thinking of the traditional paperback or hardback, books come in a variety of formats to fit your needs. If you’re looking for a way to maximize the value of your commute time, for example, you could purchase audiobooks and listen to them as you drive.

There’s a reason why books are an enduring learning resource for all types of industries. However, they also come with their drawbacks.


Here are some of the drawbacks of books as an educational nonprofit resource:

  • Outdated information. Once a book is published, it could take months or years for new editions to come out. Depending on the age of the book, you may come across outdated information, making it difficult to use this resource to learn about new and trendy topics.
  • Difficult to find specific information. If you’re looking to learn about one specific topic, you might find that some books cover many miscellaneous subjects that are irrelevant to your nonprofit’s situation. This is especially true if you’re seeking information on a niche or specific topic.
  • Single perspective. Since most books have just one author, books often suffer from having a single perspective. Aside from personal biases, this can be an issue if the author does not have direct experience with your situation. For example, if you’re a small nonprofit, the advice of an author who has only worked in large organizations may not be applicable.

If you’re looking for a nonprofit educational resource on age-old topics such as starting fundraisers or appealing for donations, books are a great way to find the information you seek. However, if you’re seeking more specific advice or knowledge on trends that are just cropping up, then you may want to consider a different type of resource.

3. Conferences

Nonprofit conferences are large gatherings of nonprofit professionals and philanthropic-minded business professionals. They are an excellent way to gain knowledge, advance professional development, and acquire the training you need to excel in your field. Plus, they cover a wide range of key nonprofit areas to help your organization grow, from marketing to donor stewardship. Let’s learn more about the specific benefits and drawbacks of conferences.


Here are some of the benefits of attending a nonprofit conference:

  • Newest information. One of the greatest selling points of conferences is that they often cover the newest information and trends occurring in the industry. If you aim to stay up-to-date with cutting-edge best practices, conferences are a great place to gain that knowledge.
  • Networking. Another benefit of conferences that most other nonprofit educational resources don’t offer is networking. Conferences are a gathering of like-minded individuals, making them great opportunities to connect with other professionals who you might work with or ask for mentorship. Plus, Getting Attention advises to connect with business professionals as well, as these relationships can lead to future corporate sponsorships.
  • Capacity building. Capacity building is defined as improving your organization’s ability to serve your beneficiaries. This involves developing competencies and skills that make you and your nonprofit more effective and sustainable. Conferences offer workshops and panels that will point you and your nonprofit in the right direction.

What makes conferences such great educational resources is that it’s a concentrated learning experience—you receive tons of new knowledge that you can then bring back and apply to your nonprofit. However, that’s not to say that they don’t have their drawbacks.


Here are some of the drawbacks of conferences as an educational resource:

  • Expensive. Conferences are by far the most expensive educational resource in this article. From travel costs to ticket prices, attending a conference can quickly become unaffordable, making it difficult for professionals from smaller organizations to attend.
  • Stressful. Conferences are jam-packed with tons of activities, panels, and workshops. While that’s great for learning-focused professionals, it can also be very stressful to manage your schedule and plan out everything you want to experience. Plus, there might be event rescheduling or cancellations to contend with.
  • Implementing learning. After the conference is over and you return to normal life at your nonprofit, it can be difficult to implement the practices or strategies that you learned. There may be logistical challenges or even a lack of motivation, for example.

If you can afford it, attending conferences is a great way to expand your knowledge of the nonprofit industry and keep up to date with trends. However, if your budget is limited, that doesn’t mean that you’re unable to access the information conferences offer. Look out for conferences held in a hybrid or virtual format, as they drastically reduce costs by removing travel expenses.

Aside from these three, there are a variety of other nonprofit educational resources available to the curious professional, including webinars and podcasts. If, after reading this guide, you believe that none of these top types of resources are the best fit for you, don’t be afraid to do more research and seek out the knowledge you need. After all, you know what’s best for your personal development and what you need to better support your nonprofit’s beneficiaries!

In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of volunteer grants and how these programs can benefit your nonprofit.

Volunteer Grants – Nonprofit Catalog

If you have a devoted volunteer base but haven’t heard of volunteer grants, you’re missing out on easy revenue! Corporate volunteer grants are an excellent way to supercharge your volunteer relationships, kickstart new corporate partnerships, and enhance your fundraising strategy.

Tapping into this resource is pretty simple when you know the basics. To help you get started, we’ll cover the essential components of these programs and provide some practical tips along the way. In no time, you’ll cultivate a lucrative volunteer grant strategy that helps you pursue your mission.

What Are Volunteer Grants?

Corporate volunteer grant programs are a type of corporate philanthropy in which companies make monetary contributions to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. Some businesses pay per volunteer hour while others require employees to serve a minimum number of hours with an organization. Then, after a volunteer submits a grant request, the company will send a check to the nonprofit.

So, let’s say a company offers $100 for every 25 hours an employee serves a nonprofit. Once a devoted supporter volunteers those 25 hours, they can submit a request to their employer who will then send the donation.

This image illustrates the concept of volunteer grants. A company might donate $100 for every 25 hours an employee volunteers with a nonprofit.

Some companies also offer team volunteer grants as a way to encourage team-building and volunteerism in the communities where employees live and work. Crowd101’s corporate giving statistics page shows that 82% of companies report that their employees want to volunteer with their peers, making team volunteer grants a powerful engagement opportunity. When a business offers team grants, they often have additional requirements such as how many employees must volunteer together.

Benefits of Corporate Volunteer Grants

Volunteer grants are impactful programs because they benefit nonprofits, companies, and volunteers alike. Whether you’re making a case to your board of directors to pursue this opportunity or convincing a local business to launch a program, here are some key benefits you can share:

For Nonprofits

Through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives like volunteer grants, nonprofits can:

  • Access more critical funding. Volunteer grants allow you to generate more revenue from supporters without having to solicit them for gifts. Your volunteers have already committed their time to your nonprofit. To earn more essential funds for your mission, all they need to do is check their eligibility and submit their hours to their employers.
  • Recruit and retain more volunteers. Knowing that their employers will amplify the impact of their support can inspire more people to dedicate their time and skills to your cause. Since 66% of volunteers indicate that making a difference in their community is their primary motivation for getting involved, the prospect of making an even greater difference can turn them into regular volunteers for your nonprofit.
  • Secure more donations. According to the Global Trends in Giving Report, 66% of donors volunteer around the world, with 73% donating to the nonprofits they volunteer with. Your volunteers have already demonstrated an investment in your cause. By retaining their support over time, you’ll increase the chances of converting them into donors as well.
  • Build more long-term partnerships with companies. If many of your volunteers work for the same company that offers volunteer grants, you might reach out and establish a mutually beneficial partnership with the company. This can pave the way for event sponsorships, collaborative cause marketing campaigns, and more.

Your nonprofit can obtain more volunteer grants by sharing these benefits, alongside basic instructions about the process, across multiple communication channels. By ensuring that supporters are aware of this impactful opportunity and practicing consistent volunteer appreciation, you’ll be able to unlock more funding over time.

For Companies

Corporate philanthropy has become a major priority among businesses around the world. By providing volunteer grant opportunities to employees, companies can:

  • Increase employee engagement. Many employees need more than a regular paycheck to feel invested in their roles. Nonprofits Source’s employee engagement guide lists CSR programs as a key way to increase employee loyalty and productivity. By giving them the chance to support causes they care about, companies can provide employees with a sense of purpose and fulfillment in the workplace. 
  • Recruit more top talent. Beyond competitive pay and employee benefits, CSR initiatives like volunteer grants can help companies stand out to talented job seekers. In fact, three out of four U.S. employees indicate that they want to work for a company that makes a positive impact on the world.
  • Boost their reputation. In today’s competitive business landscape, companies must do more than just make profits to be successful. To win the hearts of people in their communities, they must contribute to the well-being of society as a whole. Volunteer grants are one effective way for them to demonstrate this commitment to social good.
  • Attract more customers. Launching a volunteer grant program can enhance a company’s success and sustainability by bringing in new, socially conscious shoppers and turning them into loyal customers. After all, 77% of consumers want to purchase from companies with CSR initiatives.

By joining forces, nonprofits and companies can accomplish more of their goals, expend fewer resources, and leave a lasting impact on the world.

For Volunteers

By devoting their time to nonprofits and securing volunteer grants from their employers, volunteers can:

  • Generate more of an impact. Your nonprofit’s supporters have different preferences and capacities when it comes to getting involved in your cause. Volunteer grants empower them to make financial gifts to your nonprofit without having to spend their own money.
  • Achieve more personal fulfillment. Volunteering is an excellent way for people to find a sense of belonging and purpose in their lives. Considering that the current estimated value of each volunteer hour is $31.80, volunteer grants allow your supporters to amplify the impact of their contributions even more.
  • Tap into the benefits of volunteering. Your volunteers are busy people. Between their careers, hobbies, and personal commitments, it might be difficult to find time to volunteer. Volunteer grants can provide an added incentive to inspire more of your supporters to volunteer and experience all the benefits that come with it—from reducing stress to developing essential skills.

With more involved volunteers, your nonprofit will be well on its way to cultivating a strong, tight-knit community of supporters around your cause.

Common Guidelines for Volunteer Grant Programs

When laying out their volunteer grant programs, businesses typically set a few ground rules for participation. Your volunteer coordinator should be aware of the different types of requirements that companies commonly implement, such as:

  • Employee eligibility: This refers to an individual’s employment status at the company. For example, a company might offer volunteer grants for full-time, part-time, and retired employees.
  • Nonprofit restrictions: Some corporations will place restrictions on which types of nonprofits are eligible. In most cases, companies state that any 501(c)(3) nonprofit or educational institution is eligible.
  • Submission deadlines: Volunteers must typically submit a request by a certain date. Standard deadlines include the end of the calendar year or a set number of months after the individual volunteered.
  • Required hours: While most companies have a minimum hour requirement for eligibility, some pay by the hour.
  • Donation amount: This is the total grant amount that a company will donate to a nonprofit after the hours are completed. Guidelines may also include how many grants the company offers per employee each year.
  • Logging hours: Companies have different hour reporting requirements. They may require employees to fill out printed or electronic forms.

Corporate giving software can give you instant access to information on thousands of volunteer grant programs. You can embed a search tool where volunteers can research their companies, determine their eligibility, learn how to log their hours, and gain access to required forms.

How to Win A Volunteer Grant

With help from a corporate giving database, a volunteer can request a volunteer grant from their employer within minutes. Double the Donation’s corporate volunteer grant guide breaks it down into five easy steps. Here’s how it works:

This image summarizes the volunteer grant process, listed below.
  1. An individual volunteers with a nonprofit on a regular basis.
  2. The volunteer researches their eligibility for their employer’s program using a corporate giving database.
  3. If eligible, the volunteer fills out the required forms, either electronically or using a paper form.
  4. The company reviews the grant application and reaches out to the nonprofit to confirm the submitted information.
  5. If everything is in order, the company sends a check to the nonprofit.

It’s that simple! When it’s all said and done, make sure to reach out to thank your volunteers for all their hard work. Show that you appreciate them going above and beyond by submitting volunteer grant applications even after donating their time to your organization. By the end of it, you’ll drive greater volunteer satisfaction and inspire them to stick around for years to come.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

The Ultimate Guide to Workplace Giving Platforms (+ Trends!) – Corporate giving goes beyond volunteer grant programs. Learn about other workplace giving initiatives and how software can make it easy to leverage these opportunities.

Nonprofit Fundraising Training: FAQs and 8 Top Resources – Is your team prepared to take advantage of fundraising opportunities like volunteer grants? Here are some training resources to help them develop their fundraising skills.