How to raise more money in five days

5What are you going to do this week to raise money?  Use this framework to develop concrete steps to move your organization’s resource development forward this week.

Monday: Identify prospective major donors
The best place to look for prospects for major gifts is within your current donor database. Examine your database and identify two donors you have previously cultivated and call them to ask for a meeting on Thursday.

Tuesday: Review and refresh your case for support
The case for support is your answer to the question “Why should I donate to your organization?” Invest some time in reviewing and updating your organization’s case for support and ensuring it includes current information about your organization’s strategic plan, projects and program recipients.

Wednesday: Optimize online giving
It is important to ensure your website is easy to navigate for the growing number of individuals looking to give online. Ensure your website has a clear and urgent call for donations, the donation button stand out on the homepage, and the donation page does not have any unnecessary fields for the donor to complete.

Thursday: Ask
Get out from behind your desk and visit face to face with the prospects you identified on Monday. Share with them the case for support and provide them the opportunity to make a donation to support your organization’s mission.

Friday: Thank donors
Practice good stewardship by calling at least three donors to thank them for their previous support of your organization. During each call, thank the donor and share specific information about how his or her gift will fulfill the organization’s mission.

Through making intentional efforts to execute specific fundraising tasks on a daily basis, you can succeed in raising more money.

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Mission Matters

MissionI work with a lot of nonprofit board members.  No board member has ever told me they joined a nonprofit’s board because they couldn’t wait to attend long meetings. No board member has told me that the reason for joining the board was excitement about revising bylaws or reviewing financial reports. And, no board member has told me the reason they serve on a nonprofit board is because they know hundreds of friends with millions of dollars and he or she just can’t wait to ask each of their millionaire friends to give all their money to the nonprofit.

Whether you are a board member, employee, or volunteer with a nonprofit organization, you likely got involved because of the organization’s mission. Perhaps the organization provides a service you believe is needed, serves a population you care about, or addresses a community issue you are passionate about. Mission matters.

The organization’s mission statement outlines the purpose or reason for the organization’s existence, how the organization intends to fulfill its purpose, and the ultimate benefit of the organization fulfilling its purpose.

Since the mission is truly what matters, look for ways to incorporate mission moments for your board members, employees and volunteers.  Explore these ways to create mission moments:

  • Invite a program recipient to share his/her story at a board meeting
  • Include a story about the mission’s impact in the organization’s newsletter
  • Host a committee meeting at a program delivery site
  • Feature a mission success story at a special event
  • Ask volunteers to share a story about why they are passionate about the mission

Incorporating these mission moments into your organization will continue to remind your board, staff and volunteers why they initially engaged with the organization. It will also feed their passion to carry out the not-so-exciting and not-so-glamorous tasks that are necessary. It will remind them that all of those tasks are steps towards accomplishing and fulfilling the mission they care about so deeply. Remind them that the mission matters.

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Increasing board engagement in fundraising

RecruitBoardMembersTo fulfill a nonprofit organization’s mission, it takes money. Through inviting the board of directors to engage in the fundraising process, organizations can achieve fundraising success and fulfill the mission.

Explore these 10 steps to increase board engagement with fundraising.

  1. Ask for a donation. The first step to engage a board in fundraising is for each of them to become a donor. Board giving demonstrates a personal commitment, encourages other funders to give, and creates board member ownership.
  2. Focus on the mission. Although board members may not have an inherent passion for fundraising, chances are they joined the board because they have a passion for the mission. Remember to bring mission moments into the board meeting to strengthen board members’ passions for your work. This enthusiasm can motivate board members to participate in fundraising activities so that the mission can be fulfilled.
  3. Develop expectations together. Instead of telling board members what they must do for fundraising, engage board members in the fundraising planning process and work together to develop expectations on board involvement with fundraising.
  4. Formalize their commitment. On an annual basis, ensure board members review their roles and responsibilities for resource development. Each board member should sign a board commitment form that outlines their pledge to accomplish specific fundraising tasks and achieve personal fundraising goals.
  5. Communicate a clear case. Provide board members with the knowledge and information to clearly articulate why the organization deserves financial support.
  6. Focus on the entire fundraising cycle. It is important to provide specific opportunities for board members to engage in all stages of the fundraising cycle, not only solicitation. Provide opportunities for engagement in other stages including cultivation and stewardship.
  7. Determine the structure. It is important to create and formalize the structure for engaging board members in specific fundraising tasks. For instance, if board members are going to make thank you calls to donors, clearly outline the process in which board members will receive the names and phone numbers of identified donors to call, provide talking points for the calls, and outline the process for reporting on completed calls.
  8. Provide ongoing training. Incorporate fundraising training into board meetings on a regular basis. Provide board members with the tools, resources and training opportunities for identifying prospective donors, asking for a gift, and thanking donors.
  9. Build relationships. Each board member is unique. Take the time to get to know each board member and the talents he or she can bring to the fundraising process. Be intentional in seeking individual board members’ insights on the fundraising process and ways he or she can personally engage in development activities.
  10. Recognize success. In board meetings, regularly recognize board members for specific successes with fundraising. Thanking and recognizing individual board member engagement with fundraising can encourage other board members to take action.

Implementing these strategies will harness board members’ talents and abilities to engage in resource development and achieve success in fundraising for your organization.

Related Post: 25 Ways to Engage Your Board in Fundraising

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