July 17, 2009

Your board members can help fundraise. Yes, they can – if you effectively enable them to do so. (What’s enabling? See my Pet Peeves blog.)

1. Every board member should give a personal financial contribution to the best of his / her ability every single year. The welfare dad can give $2. Another board member might give $50. Another might give $5,000.

2. Every board member can help cultivate relationships. Assign some board members specific individuals or families or corporations. With the board member, outline a cultivation plan – specific steps – and enable the board member to do the cultivation. Invite other board members to join you when you meet with donors. Make sure every board member attends your fundraising event and cultivation gatherings and mingles with guests, schmoozing and cultivating.

3. Every board member can write personal notes on direct mail solicitation. Take that pen with blue ink and write “Thank you for considering a gift. Simone Joyaux, board member.” Or something else. And the board member doesn’t need to know the letter recipient.

4. Every board member can make thank-you calls to donors. Research shows that Board members making these calls produce better results than staff. Just do it! Just thanks. And you can leave that message on voice mail.

5. Some board members will serve on the fund development committee. But remember, this committee is not responsible for raising all the money. This committee helps develop the plan and provides leadership to the board. And every single board member helps carry out activities.

6. Some board members will serve on a fundraising event committee. And all board members will attend the event and schmooze. (See #2 above.) If the board member cannot afford the event ticket price, it’s okay. All board members attend.

For more ideas, read Keep Your Donors.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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