How to Engage Nonprofit Board Members in Fundraising

Nonprofit Boards and fundraising, I find, often mix as well as water and oil.  You know this. You’ve seen it. Perhaps you are living it, dealing with board members who say “I’ll do anything but fundraise” and who tell you that they couldn’t possibly give you the name of one person who might care enough about what you do to make a charitable gift.  Believe me, you are not alone.

I do a lot of board training.  Typically, I walk into a room full of lively, engaged people.  Then I get introduced, and someone says, “Janet is here to talk with you about fundraising.“  And suddenly, these engaged people cross their arms and legs, purse their lips, and resolutely stare at the floor.  

Nonprofit Boards are Afraid of Fundraising…

And often with good reason.  It makes them uncomfortable; they worry about losing friendships, they fear rejection.  Mostly, however, board members tell me that the biggest barrier to them fundraising is the singular fact that they do not know what to do.

But you can change that. The goal of this eBook is to help you better engage your board members in fundraising this year-end of the year and all year round.   

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– A Sneak Peak Into “How to Engage Nonprofit Board Members in Fundraising at Year End and Year Round”

Take an Inside Look at the Chapters of This Ebook:

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1. Introduction

Boards and fundraising, I find, often mix as well as water and oil.  You know this. You’ve seen it. Perhaps you are living it, dealing with board members who say “I’ll do anything but fundraise” and who tell you that they couldn’t possibly give you the name of one person who might care enough about what you do to make a charitable gift.  Believe me, you are not alone.

I do a lot of board training.  Typically, I…

2. The Importance of a Culture of Philanthropy

Before you can have a great fundraising board, you must have an organization that exudes a culture of philanthropy. If the leaders of the organization are not convinced that fundraising is really important, important enough to support and provide needed resources to ensure fundraising success, then fundraising simply will not happen.  

Having a culture of philanthropy means that…

3. Staff Roles in Engaging Your Board in Fundraising

When my sister called me out for not doing what my board needed from me, it really gave me pause.  I began to think about my and my staff’s roles as it related to board fundraising. Was it simply to demand and then nag (something I have great skill in) that they go forth and fundraise? 

If we believe that…

4. Having the Right Board for Fundraising

I don’t care what you do, if you do not have the right board members, you will never get them engaged in fundraising.  Not at the end of the year nor at any other time. Too often, we simply put bodies on our board—friends of current (not very engaged) board members; staff of a company you hope will give you money; your friends, someone that someone else told you had money.  Worse than simply appointing almost anyone who breathes is the fact that…

5. The Process of Board Fundraising

My first fundraising job was a long time ago.  And fundraising wasn’t a word that was used a lot.  The word that I always heard was development. I wasn’t considered a fundraiser, but a development director.  There are two things that I really like about that:  

  1. The word development connotes a process and growth.  We develop relationships in order to…

 

6. Turning Your Board into Fundraising Superheroes

Often, when I am doing board trainings or retreats, I’ll ask how many of them joined the board because they were excited by the thought of fundraising for this extraordinary organization.  As you might imagine, I am greeted with a resounding silence. 

I, on the other hand, fell into fundraising in the 1980s, and thought I died and went to heaven.  What, it seemed to me, could be better than…

7.  Engaging the Board in Year End Fundraising

While we want our board members to be engaged with fundraising all year round, it is especially important at the end of the year.  Many organizations raise more than half of their charitable revenue via their end of the year appeal. Overall, more than 30% of all charitable funds come in the last month of the year, and most of that comes on the last three days of the month.  

How can your board members become committed fundraisers at the end of the year?  In the same way you engage them all year long. Whether you have a…

8. Summary

Getting your board engaged in fundraising takes a lot more than simply telling them to do so.  It takes educating them, having a plan for what they can do, facilitating them to do it, and most of all, it takes an organization with a culture of philanthropy.

Unless everyone at your organization believes that…

To Keep Reading Download the full FREE eBook “How to Engage Nonprofit Board Members in Fundraising” now.