A Fundraiser’s Journey: A.Board.Member.Gave.Me.Fundraising.Tips.

Kelly Updike for PCNRC, A Fundraiser’s Journey series

Kelly picIt couldn’t be ignored: I received an email last week from a board member that … get this … contained a link about helping board members be better fundraisers!

Wow! This was a first for me. I had to share this great news with you and, of course, with my own board members.

To top it off, I just got survey results from the League of Historic American Theatres that said the No. 1 issue for nonprofit directors is that their board members need to be better fundraisers. And the No. 1 issue with the board chairs is that they worry about fundraising for the nonprofit theaters. Hmmm, coincidence? I think not.

So, everybody cares about fundraising. How do we connect the dots? The article my board member sent over gives some simple ways to begin immersing board members into the fundraising pool. The first two – make their own gift and thank others – are easy to implement. Locally, the YWCA of Northeast Indiana is superb, memorable and thus unique in using a board member call-a-thon.

The last few tips are, I think, pretty hard to do. Estate planning requires some needed prep work by the organization. For #4, I have found that asking board members to invite their friends still gets mixed results for our organization. This is not a tactic for everyone. The fifth idea, writing about their passion, is made easy when you “interview” the board member and write up the testimonial or story in your newsletter and appeals.

As you involve board members in fundraising, be sure to start with the appropriate board committee (it could be executive, governance, fundraising/development), include fundraising as a strategic topic on every or most board meeting agendas and give board members the messaging and time frames they need to do these tasks simply.

I also suggest you find a champion or two on the board who will assertively remind (dare we say challenge) fellow board members to do their fiscal duty. The staff can plan and implement. The board’s leaders should inspire, remind and hold their colleagues accountable. Can you guess which board member I’ll be sure to include at our organization?!

By the way, here’s that article:

http://trust.guidestar.org/2015/05/19/5-ways-for-board-members-to-support-fundraising-without-making-an-ask/ 

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

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