One common refrain heard among nonprofit management everywhere is “I can’t get my board to help with fundraising!”
Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many board members perform their duties faithfully but fail to support or engage in fundraising activities. That’s a shame, because board members have a lot to offer an organization that they are deeply involved with and know very well.
It’s not impossible to get busy board members to help you with fundraising activities. The trick is to make it easy for them to say yes. Give them specific things they can do and the fundraising tools to help them and with the right amount of effort and support, your board can become your best advocate.
3 Tips to Get Board Members to Help with Fundraising
The key is to remove any objections they have to helping with fundraising. Common objections include:
- “I don’t have time to help”
- “I don’t know what you’d like me to do”
- “I’m not good at fundraising”
To overcome each objection….
“I don’t have time to help”
- Create a list of fundraising tasks you’d like help with and distribute it via email and at your next board meeting. Be as specific as possible. Break large tasks into smaller steps.
- Ask people directly if they can help with one task. By asking them personally, rather than sending out a blanket “please help” message, you’re making it much more likely for them to say yes to the specific request.
- If board members aren’t sure how to perform the task, offer to demonstrate it, but avoid doing it for them.
- Break tasks into small half-hour increments or things that can be completed in half an hour or less. After all, who doesn’t have half an hour each week to give to their favorite charity? It’s not much time to give and it’s easier for people to agree to the request.
“I don’t know what you’d like me to do”
- Asking for help with a specific task(s) on your list (see above) overcomes this objection.
- Ask each board member to approach one friend as a potential donor.
- If they aren’t comfortable asking directly for donations, ask them to provide you with a list of people they think might be willing to donate to the organization.
- Spend time with board members writing appeals and solicitation letters. Provide them with templates and text to send out on their own.
“I’m not good at fundraising”
- Offer support and training to help with the fundraising process.
- Involve them at every step of the way: creating donor lists, approaching potential donors, writing appeal letters, reviewing donor marketing, etc.
- Provide them with individual web pages they can use to process donations. This can be a simple way to track who is following up on fundraising activities and personalize the appeal for each board member.
Working with your board may seem like a challenging process, especially when it comes to securing their help with fundraising activities.Although it’s an important task that they should embrace, they may not. You can help them become your best advocates by overcoming their objections to fundraising in a positive, proactive way.
Fundraising and Donor Software: Accountability and Transparency
Fundraising and donor software can help you track all fundraising activities including those in which your board members are engaged. The right fundraising and donor management software makes it easier view everyone’s activities and ensure accountability and transparency.
If you’d like a free consultation to discuss fundraising and donor software, please contact Welter Consulting.