Bringing up a nonprofit board with an executive or development director can often create quite a bit of anxiety, or maybe even angst. Boards can be a great source of counsel and expertise, but more often than not require serious investments of time and resources. Here are some tips to make sure you are maximizing your board’s fundraising potential:
- Set Expectations
- Board members need to know they are expected to play a role in fundraising. These roles can take many forms, whether it’s an asker, thanker, event planner, door opener, etc. Match what each board member is willing to take on with the roles needed within your organization. But be sure everyone is pitching in.
- It’s also good practice to set expectations regarding annual gifts. Required gifts may vary from organization to organization, but in any case, it’s best to address this upfront.
- Train and Practice
- Whatever role your board members take on, it’s important to provide the tools they need to succeed. Take time in a board meeting for everyone to practice their elevator pitches for your organization—what is the mission and why is it important?
- Bring in the beneficiaries of that mission and let them share your stories. This gives life to your work and provides anecdotes board members can share.
- Have a Board Advocate
- Just as volunteers make effective askers, it’s a good idea to have a designated board member who will speak to the importance of fundraising. This adds credibility and positive peer pressure to messages delivered by an organization’s staff.
- Meet One-on-One
- Even if you chat with board members at meetings, make a point to meet with them outside that meeting at least once a year. Beyond simply thanking them or asking them for a personal gift, this is a time to discuss any concerns or answer questions they might hesitate to bring up in front of the whole group.
Some board members may be hesitant to engage in fundraising, which makes it all the more important to have the conversation with them before they join. Find a role within fundraising that accentuates their strengths, then give them the tools and confidence to succeed.
Shocking Statistic: A survey conducted by Stanford GSB found 46 percent of nonprofits do not have requirements for individual board donations, although 92 percent of board members make an annual contribution.
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!