How do you get board members to support fundraising efforts?
I recently sat down with a board member who resigned from a nonprofit board.
She was frustrated because she was only being asked to sell tickets to events — nothing else. Furthermore, she shared her suggestions to make introductions to potential supporters. Without question, she is very passionate about the mission and wants to be utilized for her connections in the community.
Absolutely, she did not want to spend her time just selling $500 tables for an event. She was interested in putting the executive director in front of individuals, corporate decision-makers, or foundation heads who could provide $5,000 – $1 million in support.
In joining the board, no one ever sat down with her and explained the role and expectations of a board member.
Unfortunately, after many failed attempts to be more engaged, she resigned.
Utilize Your Board Members; Don’t Waste Their Time.
First of all, think big and ask big of your board members. Ask board members to support fundraising efforts.
You, the executive director or director of development, along with the board chair need to sit down with each new board member and say how happy you are to have them serve on the board.
To be engaged in the fundraising process, let new board members know you want to know who they know, who they know who has benefited from the program, and who would be a strong supporter of the programs.
Indeed, let the board member know you would like them join you on donor visits. Besides, you will handle the logistics, make sure materials are ready, and set up a time to strategize together.
6 Ways for Board Members to Support Fundraising (without asking for money!)
Engaging board members in fundraising is not just about asking someone for money.
Here are 6 ways for board members to support fundraising that does not include asking for money:
- Make an introduction
- Invite potential donors to an event or take a tour
- Contact donors to say thank you for their gift
- Share why you support the organization in a newsletter, at an event, or meeting with a potential donor
- Host an event at your home
- Sign letters inviting potential donors to an event
No doubt, utilize the board for the purpose for which they are there to serve.
Watch for unique opportunities for board members to support fundraising.
Most important, converse often with your board members so you know what projects they are working on, who they do business with, who they are collaborating with, and what unique ideas they have to garner additional support. Help your board member bring in funds.
As a side, I lost a good friend to cancer almost 10 year ago. I have since moved to a new town. If someone who served on a cancer board had contacted me to ask me to help bring her friends together to help raise money for cancer research, I would have jumped at the opportunity.
Time marched on. That opportunity was lost.
Read more about How to Become a High Impact Board Member.
Watch for opportunities to engage your board.
They have agreed to serve and want to support the organization. Even so, it is up to you to find ways to engage board members.
Question: What are ways you are uniquely engaging your board member to support fundraising efforts?
Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides overwhelmed nonprofit leaders of small organizations with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at [email protected].
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