It’s not enough for your board members to simply make their own donation and call it a day. They have a fiduciary responsibility to your nonprofit. Whether they like it or not, fundraising is part of the deal when they agree to join your board. They don’t get the status without the effort. But you can make it easier for them by breaking down the different roles and playing to each board member’s individual strengths.
Key Board Fundraising Roles
The Ambassador serves as a representative or promoter of your nonprofit. They invite friends, family, and colleagues to your events, host house parties, and share information on donors and prospects with staff. They are very comfortable talking up your organization.
The Connector may not be as comfortable talking in front of a room full of people as The Ambassador, but their strength lies in getting the right people to your event. They provide lists of prospects for donor cultivation and solicitation; arrange meetings with individuals, corporations, foundations, or governmental agency that can provide new funding; and serve as a matchmaker between your nonprofit and their network.
The Solicitor is your closer. They are willing and even eager to participate in major donor fundraising and/or making asks. Identify these board members and bring them along to as many luncheons and meetings as you can. Solicitors can also be good at finding you potential event sponsors.
If the Solicitor is your closer, then The Steward helps nurture your donor relationships. Involve them in thank you calls to donors and supporters. As a non-staff member of the organization, they can learn more about the donor as a peer.
There are still other ways your board members can support fundraising. From volunteering services to pro bono work to procuring auction items for events, don’t be shy about recruiting your board members’ assistance. Give them enough training and information and let them help you grow your organization.
Develop a clear vision of what you want your board to do—and give them the tools to meet those expectations. Download How to Engage and Activate Your Nonprofit Board and turn your board into better fundraisers today!