One of the best ways to get your board involved in fundraising is to ask them to help you with fundraising planning. You know that Front Range Source is all about the plan, right? Part of the reason is because we know that people who create plans want to see them carried out. It’s just so motivating!
So why leave the board out of the fundraising planning process? Give them an opportunity to feel some ownership for the work to be done. I can promise you, their enthusiasm will increase and you’ll directly benefit from their wisdom.
One way to engage the board in planning is to have a retreat or a series of meetings that focus on various aspects of the fundraising. You could do this with the entire board or with a committee or task force.
Here are some great topics to get you started:
The Fundraising Basics
Give your board an overview of how fundraising works – at your organization and in general. Show them the trends in your fundraising program and let them know exactly what you’re already doing. Then give them a Fundraising 101 presentation. Introduce them to the donor pyramid, the cycle of donor relations, and the importance of donor retention. Don’t forget that we have some nifty tools to help you in our toolbox with all of this!
Your Fundraising Vision
Let your board help you define your ideal fundraising program. After all, not all fundraising programs are alike. Do you want a lot of donors giving at all levels of the pyramid? Maybe your mission and goals are better suited to major gifts fundraising? What do you want your relationship with donors to be? Do you want them to be advocates and messengers, as well as givers? Do you want them to feel part of a community? This is an important – and fun – conversation to which your board can add lots of value.
Building the Base
Have the board help you identify and prioritize potential new prospect pools. This is a particularly good exercise for newer fundraising programs. What are the types of people in the community who might be interested in your work? How can you reach out to them? What are some specific strategies and assignments your board could take on?
Making the Case
Instead of “training” your board to make a pitch for the organization, ask them to help develop it! Lead them in a brainstorming around the key messages that can motivate prospects to action. This is a fabulous way to capture their passion for your cause and get them motivated to tell others about it.
These are just a few ideas for engaging your board in fundraising planning. By tackling these questions together, the board will grow their understanding of fundraising and their enthusiasm for making it happen!