How to Get Your Board Fundraising Today

16 Oct 2016

The board of directors of any nonprofit should be the loudest, proudest advocates within the organization. And they have a moral obligation to help support the organization financially through board fundraising efforts. If they don’t support your org, then why should anyone else? When it comes to cultivating donors and grabbing those final donation dollars at the end of the year, board members need to put their money where their mouth is.

Below are some tips to help engage your board members to advocate and assist in fundraising for your organization, just in time for end-of-year.

How does fundraising really work?

Does your board know your organization’s specific fundraising strategy and how the funds raised are distributed? They need to know the basics: how events are funded, how programs are funded and the impact the dollars raised have on your organization. Give them talking points and coach them on how to ask for money from their sphere of influence. Great examples of tools to distribute include a one-sheet of content or talking points, suggested social media posts and images and sample email content. This will ensure everyone is spreading the same message.

Create opportunities for the board to shine

Most board of directors are in place because they “open doors” and reach influential audiences the organization cannot reach on their own. So create fun social events, like happy hours or meet-ups, that they feel comfortable inviting their friends to. Give them talking points, or literature, or have staff on-site with mission stories that tell of the organization’s impact. If you create a “safe” atmosphere that is more social, chances are people will be more comfortable asking for donations.

Tell them fundraising is NOT just about money

Your organization is about making an impact, changing the community, bettering the world. How do your board members feel when they talk about the organization? Hopefully they answer “joyous, happy, part of something important.” Then remind them that these are the emotions donors feel when they give money. People want to be involved in something with meaning – the donor’s life and legacy is enhanced.

There is no “cold-calling”

Smart staff members will know they can rely on board of director members to contribute in several fundraising ways without “asking.” Fundraising is more than simply soliciting. Developing relationships is the key to long-term donor stewardship and is a (sometimes) lengthy process with many delicate steps. Board members can interact and build donor relationships by hosting organizational events, tours, sharing communication efforts on their social media channels and personally thanking existing donors.

The end-of-year is the BEST time of year

The number one reason people donate money to a cause – they are asked. Starting in November, people are expecting and waiting to be asked to donate money. In the U.S. 30% of donations happen in the month of December! As a board member, you can help cut through the countless messages from organizations by making a personal connection. Talk to someone about the organization’s success. Let them know how their end-of-year gift will make a difference.

As a board member, you don’t have to have affluent connections. You just have to be good at talking to people and connecting them to the mission. Volunteers, existing donors and potential donors all want to have a reason to support your organization. Just spend time with these individuals and share your story – how did you become involved, why are you still involved and where is the organization headed (with their help)? Your passionate emotional link to the mission will come through to spark a connection you can build on.