Just the mention of the word “fundraising” can make many nonprofit board members a little nervous. But there are ways we can change their minds about fundraising. Here are 10 important steps that can re-energize your board and engage their hearts and minds for fundraising.
With corporations, community and private foundations, and individuals focusing donations to more specific areas, and the push for increased accountability and measurement systems, nonprofits are strapped with strategic and financial challenges that require skills more often exercised in for-profit businesses. That according to Alice Korngold, national consultant to businesses, foundations and nonprofits, and founding president and CEO of Business Volunteers Unlimited, which places business executives on nonprofit boards. While nonprofits take on more business-like practices requiring expertise in strategic and financial planning, market research and human-resource management, businesses are encouraging employees to volunteer.
Sitting squarely in the upper echelon of effective and highly respected nonprofit organizations, the Texas-based Mothers Against Drunk Driving celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. For the past decade, the nationally acclaimed drunken-driving education organization has held steady as a $47 million charity fueled in large part by direct-mail fundraising.
An impressive number, by anyone’s standards. But MADD’s top dogs read “steady” to mean “static” and decided a few years ago that the organization needed a major kick in the fundraising pants. Enter Bobby Heard, who took over as national director of programs and development in 2002.
Nonprofit organizations are turning to the Web for more than just donation collection. Many are connecting with volunteers through virtual-placement agencies such as VolunteerMatch.org, the Web service of San Francisco-basednonprofit VolunteerMatch, which uses the Internet to link interested people with volunteer opportunities.
According to conventional wisdom, the world of fundraising for nonprofit organizations includes separate camps of volunteers and donors. Donors shall give their money, volunteers shall give their time, and never the twain shall meet, right?
Not necessarily. Increasingly, fundraising officials at nonprofits are seeking volunteers willing to make the leap to financial sponsorship. Volunteers are being asked to contribute money precisely because they’re already physically and emotionally involved with the organization. If they’re more or less committed to the cause through volunteer work, it makes sense to ask them to make a monetary contribution.