No One Is 'Off the Hook' From Fundraising
Remember your board members
As Jay Love, co-founder and CEO of Bloomerang, reminds us in a recent blog post, the vast majority of the board’s interactions are with you. Since board members are both volunteers and donors, you should include them on the list of fundraising relationships you’re going to grow. Being this intentional with board members is a discipline. Often CEOs get used to interacting with board members in other areas of governance or advising. But it’s important to bring fundraising into the picture. It may be as simple as pointing out to them that whatever you’re talking about is possible, in part, because they made gifts this year. Or it could be writing them handwritten thank-you notes when you see their names on a donor list. Small things really do add up.
As board members get used to being asked for money by you and thanked in ways that show their impact, they’ll learn about fundraising for your nonprofit. As they get more comfortable with this, you can ask them to introduce you to people they know who could make significant investments in your cause.
As CompassPoint’s recent “UnderDeveloped” study shows, being the leader of a nonprofit is challenging. I’m not entirely sure whether or not you should spend 50 percent of your time on fundraising. But you should look at your revenue streams. If fundraising is more than 50 percent of your revenue, allocating that much time might be appropriate.
Start small. Maybe an hour a day. Or even an hour a week. As I remind my Fundraising Kick members, an hour a day blocked off for fundraising results in an extra month of fundraising in a year! Even an hour a week over the course of a year results in more than one additional week of fundraising.