Four Steps to Creating a Fundraising Board
Board members can be powerful fundraisers and donor-relationship cultivators, when properly engaged.
In a session last Tuesday at the 44th AFP International Conference on Fundraising in Dallas, Gail Perry, founder of nonprofit fundraising consultancy Gail Perry Associates, shared tips for putting board members to work fundraising and keeping in contact with donors to your organization.
According to Perry, the two key things that keep boards from fundraising are 1) they are not fully engaged in the organization or passionate enough about the cause and 2) they think fundraising is “asking for money.”
She laid out this four-step process that will get board members acting as ambassadors who enhance donor/funder relationships:
Step 1: Focus on the mission. Organizations can do this by engaging board members in important meetings, encouraging them to talk about their interests, coming up with creative agendas, focusing on results and letting them enjoy themselves.
Step 2: Inspire them with a new philosophy of fundraising. Focus on how fundraising is changing the world for the better and is about making friends; deal with fears directly; teach board members why people give and the joy of giving, and the power of a volunteer.
Step 3: Ready board members with the right tools and skills. Take the emphasis away from soliciting and offer a variety of important roles for board members; treat them like ambassadors or “account managers” to cultivate major gifts; teach them about donor-relationship management; and teach them how to make the most of a “lucky moment” with the elevator speech.
Step 4: Engage them in the fundraising plan. Give board members specific, easy things to do; encourage them to spread the word for a viral-marketing effect; encourage them to friend raise; and involve them in “advice visits,” small socials and mission-focused tours.
Gail Perry can be reached via www.gailperry.com