Boards: The Secret Superheroes of Fundraising
If your board members flee when they're asked to help fundraise, you need a new approach and some new ideas. So here is a wildly different approach to try: Tell them they don't have to ask if they don't want to.
Find some practical, easy ways your board members can help in fundraising, without soliciting. They can open doors and help you find new friends and donors — without having to flat-out ask for money.
Here are my five favorite ways to use board members in fundraising, without soliciting. It's just the start of a long list of productive jobs they can do to raise friends, thank donors and help create a sustainable fundraising effort.
1. Make friends for the cause. You need to capitalize on your board members' personal social networks to further your organization's urgent work solving community problems. The job is clear: You have to ask your board members to introduce your organization to everybody they know.
Your board members need to be roaring advocates for your organization; they need to talk about it wherever they go. They should be all over their friends, telling them why it matters and urging them to get involved. Actually, you want your board members to start an epidemic of good news about your cause that will spread through your community.
So many CEOs tell me that the No. 1 thing they would love from their board members is a willingness to open the door to new prospects. And that board members just don't like to do that. They often say they will, but then they chicken out at the last minute.
So how do you get them to help in this all-important area? You have to teach them the steps to opening the door happily and successfully.