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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About Dr. Sarah Wolin Mackey

Putting theory into practice at nonprofit organizations.
This entry was posted in Board of Directors, Fundraising, Nonprofit Management and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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