Engage Your Board and Help Them Fulfill their Fundraising Goals
Spring benefit season is fast approaching. It’s the season of giving… but for fundraising event planners, it’s the season of asking! One challenge organizations often face is the issue of how to help their board of directors fulfill their fundraising commitments.
Make it Simple and Easy
Your Board is busy and they have many other obligations. They want to help, but may need to be offered clarity on how to begin:
-> Scripted messages
-> Clear expectations
-> A set timeline
-> Scheduled reminders
Defining these clear guidelines right from the start will help avoid confusion later. For example, scripted messages (such as, pre-written emails, fundraising appeals, phone scripts, and social media posts) will prompt board members to get started immediately, because there is less work involved from their end. Board members may want to customize these messages, and that is definitely okay… even encouraged! We all know that people are more likely to give when asked by someone they know… This is why a customized approach is better than a generic ask. Setting timelines and sending reminders to your board is essential. You want to keep them on track and informed of personal and organizational goals.
Expand Your Outreach
Before getting started with outreach, you should work with each individual board member to help them organize their outreach list. They should consider:
-> Someone they spend money with – accountant, lawyer, private banker
-> Colleagues or alumni friends that they socialize with outside of the office
-> Associates that have asked them to donate to their causes
-> Philanthropic friends and family
-> Large funders and donors/honorees from past events
-> Someone who may be willing to use their contacts for event sponsorship or to help build a committee
Numbers matter! After your campaign has concluded, show board members a visual representation of what was accomplished. Not only does this inform the BOD’s of the organization’s progress but also highlights accountability and provokes self-assessment.
- Invest time in creating a formal report for the board, including a spreadsheet with comparison to any past campaigns.
- Use summary categories for income and expenses to enable the board to focus on the big picture.
- Provide a brief narrative along with the financial reporting. The narrative should highlight significant outcomes and explain variances from the plan.
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