How to Talk to Your Board About Software
If your nonprofit’s board needs to sign off on expenses, how you approach the conversation can make all the difference. If you lead with the cost but don’t first make your case for the need and benefits, you probably won’t get approval. Focus your conversation on the positive outcomes your organization anticipates—improved donor relations; more personalized, targeted communications; time saved; smarter, more efficient fundraising.
Do’s and Dont’s of Discussing Software with Your Board
- Tell your board what the software will help you accomplish. How will this help your organization? How will it help you be a smarter fundraiser?
- Ask board members to submit questions they might have in advance. Come to the meeting prepared with accurate answers.
- Break down the cost to show what you’re getting with your investment: software subscription, data import, product training, technical support, etc.
- Provide real examples of challenges you currently face and how this software will help you solve them.
- Present your plan for adopting the software into your everyday work. Who will “own” the implementation of the software? How will everyone use it? When a new system benefits the entire organization, the expense is less daunting.
- Open the conversation with price. Boards often get hung up on financials and it’s hard to steer them back to what matters: how this investment will help your nonprofit.
- Get too detailed with product features and lose your board in the weeds. Stick to the big picture and the fundamental features.
- Discuss features without explaining how they will improve your processes and what the impact will be (dollars saved, gifts increased, improved efficiency).
You’re convinced that better, easy-to-use software will help your nonprofit’s mission grow. Make it clear to your board and they will be convinced, too. Show your board how to be better fundraisers. Download How to Engage and Activate Your Nonprofit Board today!