Do you want to engage your board members in more than just meetings?
Your board members became involved with your organization because it’s a cause they’re passionate about. What a powerful thing! Someone with passion is someone who can inspire passion in others. Put your board members to good use by inspiring them to give, encouraging them to recruit others to your cause, and making them feel invaluable and appreciated for their efforts.
These five steps will help you tap into both your board’s giving and fundraising power.
- Challenge your board. Set a goal for board gifts, and a deadline for receiving them. Be willing to talk about goals, giving, and how board member gifts make your organization’s work possible.In fact, frequently discuss gifts, what money has been raised so far, and what how much the board still needs to procure in order to meet their goal. Send out email reminders. The easier it is to talk about the importance of board gifts, the more board members can hold each other accountable for meeting their goal.
- Demonstrate the importance of board gifts.
The best way to encourage board gifts is to show the board how invaluable they and their gifts are to your organization. State your goals in terms of impact: how many lives can be saved with just one board gift of $5,000? $10,000? $50,000?Be persistent in setting a goal and staying in touch with board members to achieve it. Also be persistent in doling out healthy amounts of appreciation when gifts are received and goals are reached.
- Provide ways board members can increase their gifts, or get them. Be sensitive to each board member’s giving power and financial situation. Ask board members to supplement their gifts by participating in a corporate matching gift program. Encourage them to reach out to friends, family, and co-workers.Provide them the tools to do this! Ask them to add a blurb about your organization or cause to their email signature. Create a “Donate Now” button they can email out to contacts in their network that will link back to your Greater Giving online donation page.
- Ask board members to promote and evangelize your cause. Board members are involved because your cause is their cause. Part of their job is to drum up buzz, enthusiasm, and support for your organization.Use social media to your advantage. Do you have a video, website, or graphic they could share on Social Media? Ask them to do it, and emphasize the impact of tapping into their social networks and what you can achieve together.
- Thank board members over and over. Start early thanking your board members and never stop. Write each member a personal letter of appreciation for their gift and all the work they did promoting your cause. Show them how the gift they made had the promised impact.Then, talk openly about setting and meeting higher goals next year. And emphasize how your organization couldn’t have done it without them.Your board is an invaluable resource—dedicated to your cause, and wielding access to a wide network of potential donors. Increase board gifts, get board members evangelizing your cause, and encourage outside donations with these five easy tips!
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