Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This Might be the Most Important Tip to Turn Your Board into Fundraising Pros

You wouldn't build a house without the right tools, why expect
your board to fundraise without them?
For most nonprofits, your board of directors is an essential part of your fundraising strategy.

Board members often need training and guidance to become fundraising champions for the cause. There are a lot of great things you can do to turn your board of directors into a fundraising powerhouse, but this tip might be the most important of all: give them the materials and tools with which to do it.

It's all well and good to tell your board members that they need to fundraise. It's vital to connect fundraising with the organization's work and mission. Teach your board members how to tell the story. Many organizations do all that, through special workshops and training seminars. But then board members get home and often don't know where to start. They don't feel like they have the tools they need to become strong fundraisers. Giving them the tools to get started gives them a way to begin.

For example, don't just ask them to hold fundraisers. Provide them with fundraiser planning guides that walk them through the process. Help them create online fundraisers and teach them how to use social media to connect their friends and family with the cause. For those who are nervous first-time fundraisers, holding a peer-to-peer fundraiser is a great way to learn the ropes and gain confidence. Development Directors can use online peer-to-peer fundraisers as an ice breaker at the beginning of the board year. Get everybody online and set a small goal to get them started. Offer an incentive to motivate them, like lunch with the Executive Director and Development Director (which would provide an additional touch-point with the winner to encourage them to continue fundraising). Point is: don't just train them and send them out into the world. Make sure they have the tools at their disposal to help them succeed.

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