Four Ways to Help Your Board Become Fundraising Champions
We all know that effective boards are great for helping set expectations for staff, develop organizational strategy and keep a nonprofit financially grounded.
However, fundraising is also a vital ingredient of board membership. And if you develop your board to create an intentional culture of fundraising, you are not only helping out your development team, but you are taking advantage of an extremely powerful method of sustainable revenue generation.
Let the Transformation Begin
Here are four ways to help your board of directors become better fundraising champions for your cause:
1. Let people know that you expect them to fundraise before they join your board
You can’t expect your board to become fundraising champions if you don’t create a clear expectation of a culture of fundraising. Essentially, your board must have a philanthropic mindset and understand that fundraising is the most important part of their job. And everyone needs to add 100 percent.
2. Train your board members
Have your seasoned fundraisers teach your board the basics of their approach. Consider pairing the least comfortable with those most comfortable with fundraising to help them out. Bottom line: they need to be trained, because no one is born this way.
3. Clarify your expectations
Before someone even becomes a board member, set the expectation that part of his or her requirement is fundraising. No questions asked. It’s simply not enough these days to have a big heart, but your board members must have a willingness to open up their wallets as well as to find friends and family to also open up their wallets.
4. A consistent message matters
It’s an easy mistake to make. In the rush to reach as many people in as many places as possible, it’s easy to overlook the small details that can have a big impact on fundraising success. However, we all know that mistakes can be costly. Inconsistent messaging can confuse your audience so always be clear with your board on the case for support. Have an elevator speech in place that’s consistent, yet that everyone can personalize and make their own. This is absolutely critical.
Remember, your nonprofit’s board members are not going to be instant fundraisers on day one of their service with your organization. And while some will be more skilled than others, a little nurturing and a lot of clear communication can go a long way.