There are many ways that a Board member can contribute to raising funds, directly and indirectly. Below is a brief list of things to keep an eye on to help Board members set themselves up for success:
1. Do they completely understand the mission of the organization? Train them, take them into the field, help them (and all your staff and volunteers) understand the impact that your work is making in the community. Make them proud and the words will follow easily.
2. Remind them to start with them self: The first sale is always to one’s self. The first ask is always to one’s self. It is much easier to engage someone when we have already made a commitment. Next time they are out golfing or lunching with their friends or colleagues, ask them to share why this cause is so important to them, why they feel compelled to give of their valuable time. Follow this up with a ‘won’t you join me’, or ‘would you consider’, statement.
3. Find the asking style that fits the Board Member and play to those strengths. Hone those skills and strengths and use them to connect people to your cause (i.e. Perhaps they are good at writing copy and have generated numerous gifts from this skill. Do not underestimate this asset).
4. Know asking styles and pair them up with their opposite when visiting donors or making a request for a lead gift.
5. Say Thank you! Knowing how to say thank you is almost a guarantee of future donor giving. Immediately after an event have Board Members get on the phone and say ‘thank you’ to all those who made a gift to the organization. Few Non-Profits do this, yet it is stunningly effective and creates huge donor loyalty. The board member is one of the best people to do this. (It overfills the cup of the giver and it also reinforces to the Board member the value of the work that the organization is creating.)
Written by Tracy Karbus, Fundraising Event Strategist and Consultant
‘When courage, genius and generosity hold hands, all things are possible.’