Five Strategies to Help Spark Board Fundraising
Mobilizing board members to fundraise often requires a jump start. In her book, “The Best of the Board Cafe: Hands-on Solutions for Nonprofit Boards,” Jan Masaoka offers actionable tips that provide the spark necessary to enhance board involvement.
Masaoka is the former executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, a nonprofit consulting and training firm, and is editor of the Board Cafe, an online newsletter that offers ideas, information, news and other resources to help board members maximize their service.
The book is a compilation of some of the most popular articles from the Board Cafe e-newsletter. It includes page after page of useful information on various topics, including urban legends about nonprofit organizations; the board structure and the relationship between the board and the executive director; board self-management; new-members recruitment; productive board meetings; and fundraising.
Everyone on the board should be raising funds, but it can be hard to know how to begin to get all board members doing it. One installation in the chapter on fundraising describes “Five Ways One Board Member Can Raise $100 to $5,000.” Masaoka offers these five tips for board members looking to get the fundraising ball rolling:
1. Make a personal contribution. “Write a short, handwritten note to the board president to explain why you are making the contribution, and give the check and note to him or her at the end of a board meeting,” Masaoka writes.
2. Collaborate with another board member to hold a dessert party at your residence. Plan the party for a weeknight (7 p.m.) and invite 10 friends and relatives each, letting them know in the invitation that they will learn about the organization and be asked to make a contribution, along with enjoying dessert. Call everyone the day before the party and urge them to attend. Also invite three or four other board members so that they can learn how to hold a dessert party. Serve finger desserts at the party, and make cupcakes but don’t serve them.