There isn’t a nonprofit board that doesn’t shy away from fundraising. Some board members are nervous about making an ask, while some simply disappear when you need them most. But you can turn them around and increase your board’s comfort level with fundraising.
3 Reasons Why Boards Hate Fundraising
They think that soliciting gifts is the only way to participate in fundraising.
While some board members may enjoy being solicitors and asking potential and current donors to invest in your work, there are those who need other ways to help you fundraise. From ambassadors who cultivate relationships to connectors who bring prospective donors to you, all board members have a role to play in fundraising. And don’t forget about stewardship. Board thank you calls to donors have an incredible impact on retention rates.
They don’t know how to talk about your organization and why it deserves donor support.
Board members may have the inside scoop on a nonprofit, but that doesn’t mean they’re good at making the case for support. Make sure new board members receive a good orientation when they commit to your board. Have an annual all-board review of your organization’s history, programs, and needs to regularly update members about your latest successes, challenges, and opportunities.
They fear rejection.
We all do. At first, many fundraisers feel that asking for a donation is “begging,” and board members are no exception. Work with your board members to share their passion for your mission when they talk with donors and prospects. They’ve made their own personal financial commitment for a reason. That passion will be inspiring. The more times a board member hears that magic “yes,” the more comfortable they’ll become.
3 Easy Steps to Turn Board Members into Fundraisers
- Build time into every board meeting for members to write thank you notes and call donors to thank them for their gift. The more your board members talk to donors, the more they’ll want to do it. Before you know it, they’ll be comfortable making the ask.
- Create standard talking points and an “elevator pitch” so everyone is literally speaking from the same script. This will give your board members a strong foundation for when they talk about your organization. As their comfort level grows, they can add their own reasons for giving.
- Coach board members on the fundraising cycle and what they can do to ensure a potential donor says yes. Cultivation is key.
Engage and activate your board members to become successful advocates, donors, stewards, and ambassadors for your organization. Download How to Engage and Activate Your Nonprofit Board and turn your board into better fundraisers today!