5 Tips to Get Your Board to assist With Fundraising

Among the major complaints I hear from executive directors as well as nonprofit organizers, is that they want their board to help with fundraising.

It's their work, right? A nonprofit board is meant to "make sure there are ample resources" for the company.

And also, it's not like they expect that their Board members to make million-dollar requests. They may just want their board members to sell tickets to their events. They'd like for the board to bring prospects by for a tour. In addition, they would LOVE for the board to open its doors and establish conferences with VIPs. They want their board to participate in help for nonprofit organizations.

Any of this noise sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

Is it just wishful thinking to expect that much from your board? I don't believe so.

I think that it's possible to have a fundraising board. Heck, I have actually belonged to boards that were wonderful at stepping up to assist. With the best training and support, ANY board could come to be a fundraising board.

But understand that it begins with YOU! You might have to change your assumptions a bit, and put a couple of things in position so that their efforts can be effective.

Here's what I've learned over several years of dealing with boards: lots of people that sit on a board are gracious, as well as actually intending to help. The issue is that they don't recognize what they've said "yes" to. As well as, in lacking understanding concerning their role, they move toward whatever looks fun. That's why so many have the tendency to micromanage.

So just how do you fix the problem? Initially, understand that it will certainly take a little time. Like transforming the Titanic, changing your board's culture is a sluggish process, and you need to be patient. Forcing it, or aiming to rush it along won't be helpful.

Next off, recognize that you understand WAY more regarding their job than they do. It falls on you to assist them in learning how to be great board members. Stop playing the "Blame Game" and getting angry with them for their lack of fulfilling your assumptions. And also start showing them exactly what they need to know. They already look to you for answers to a lot of questions anyway, so be prepared to provide them the answers.

Here are some tips for helping your Board better understand fundraising, and just how they can participate:

Establish the assumption. When you recruit new participants, let them recognize that they should contribute an individual gift AND take part in fundraising. Your board will certainly come to recognize precisely what they're getting involved in. Also, you'll stay clear of a lot of headaches in the future. Simply to be risk-free, I would certainly put it in writing and provide them a copy.

Be clear with board members about exactly what you desire they do. They aren't mind readers. They more specific you can be, the easier it is for them to act, as well as follow up. "Everybody needs to stock a table for the upcoming occasion" is much better when compared to "Please assist us in making the occasion a success." To get more information about it you can follow solutions for charitable organizations.

Position your Board participants for success. Make it as easy as possible for them to get a "win" from a fundraising task. This will stimulate a lot more involvement. Provide the tools they need for the job you've asked them to complete. In the example of stocking a table for an event, provide all the information concerning the occasion (when, where, what does it cost, and so on), help them brainstorm who would make wonderful event participants, provide a timeline in regard to when they should be asking guests to join them, when they should be done, and anything else you may consider that would make this job much easier.

Have private discussions with them. It's time to quit announcing broad news at conferences, or in e-mail, like "Every person has to advance 10 tickets to the supper." I assure you that some of your board members will not feel comfortable doing it for one reason or another, and you'll discover that reason in a 1-to-1 conversation. Otherwise, you'll just be annoyed, since just a few of your board members will have done exactly what you asked. The more you know where specific board members are coming from, and exactly what their strengths are, the more you can play to those strengths, and the better it will be for both of you.

Assist them in finding what their strengths are. For those that typically aren't comfortable making a direct appeal for cash (or selling a ticket, and so on), find them another way to support your fundraising initiatives, in such a way that it feels good to them. You could have them make "Thank you" contacts with donors, or ask them to host supper parties in their homes, to show their friends the good work your company is doing. Many individuals are frightened of asking for a donation, but they're more than happy to say "Thanks" to contributors. One of the most vital point is to help your Board members determine a way in which they can contribute to your fundraising project, while doing so in a way they're comfortable with.

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