Increase Your Organization’s Influence in Just 15 Minutes a Month
Do you wish that your organization had more clout? That you had more access to your community’s thought-leaders and philanthropists?
Are you unsure how you should get to know the people in in your community whose opinions are seen as the gold standard?
Here’s an excellent way to build those relationships. It’s not difficult and won’t feel awkward. And, most importantly, your community’s leaders will want to participate.
What you need is a board leadership forum.
Establish a board leadership forum—a program of inviting important people to give short talks at each of your board meetings.
Yes, it’s that simple.
At every board meeting, schedule 15 minutes for a guest speaker. You can begin or end each board meeting with a short program.
If you do it at the end, you’ll have time for discussion and questions, and perhaps even a glass of wine with your guest. And that end-of-meeting guest will also push your board to manage meetings well so they stay on schedule. After all, you won’t want to keep an important guest waiting.
Wait—only 15 minutes?
Fifteen minutes, you might ask? Is that long enough?
Remember that short talks are common these days. A standard time for a TED talk is 12 minutes.
Here’s who to invite:
- Invite an influential person in your community to be a speaker in your board leadership forum. Ask them to present something they are doing or working on that has relevance to your organization.
- You might invite a foundation director to talk about trends in philanthropy. You might invite a developer to talk about changes in the community.
- Or how about inviting the board chair from your local hospital to talk about specific challenges the hospital faces or new programs they are starting?
- Consider inviting your community’s lead philanthropists to speak about best practices in asking for gifts.
- Perhaps extend an invitation to a professor to talk about his research as it relates to your mission or programs.
This list is just a start. You’ll find that when you start inviting speakers, they’ll suggest others to invite.
A board leadership forum brings results:
This simple idea will bring you great results.
- You’ll engage the most influential people in your community by asking them to share their wisdom with your most important people.
- You’ll make your board meetings more interesting so the attendance will sky rocket.
- You’ll increase the reach and influence of your organization as more and more thought-leaders come to know you and what you do and have a chance to meet your board members.
Not bad for only 15 minutes once per month!
And if you do it right, you’ll have community leaders calling you to participate! It’s a big win for everyone involved.
Thinking about a capital campaign?
If you are thinking about a capital campaign in the next year or two, start this 15-minute/month strategy right away to set you up for success.
Sign up for this free webinar about capital campaign fundraising to learn everything you need to know.
Andrea Kihlstedt is an expert on capital campaign fundraising. Her book "Capital Campaigns: Strategies that Work" has just come out in its fourth edition and is used in advanced fundraising courses worldwide.