November 21, 2010

Are you, as a board member, willing to use your political and social capital to help your organization? Your answer must be yes. You use your political and social capital by:

— Identifying friends and colleagues who might be interested in the cause.

— Paying attention to what interests those you connect with in your personal and professional spheres… And if there’s any connection between the cause and their interests, you introduce the cause.

— Sharing your own interests as you talk with people throughout life… And your own interests surely includes the cause whose board you sit on.

This is reciprocity. Finding and sharing common interests.

So what’s trespassing? Trespassing is when you ask your friends or colleagues to give gifts and buy tickets… just because they are your friends and colleagues. This is the personal / professional favor exchange. This is obligation. It’s a lousy way to raise money. It’s offensive. It alienates the asker and the askee. And it’s not sustainable.

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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