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April 1, 2015

One Board Campaign = Two Problems Solved

th-2Have you been begging your board to go out and ask for money? Perhaps you’ve even brought in a trainer to give them a refresher on how to make the “ask.”

Have you been urging your board to pony up their own gifts? Insisting that you need 100% participation? Reminding them that their leadership is essential before others will give?

We know it can be grueling to get your board excited about giving and getting.

Here’s one simple solution to get your board motivated and build their skills at the same time — have a board campaign!

We do this all the time for capital campaigns and it works just as well for annual giving.

Here’s what you do:

  • Recruit a couple of board members to lead your board campaign. They are your cheerleaders, organizers and example setters.
  • Work with them to create a matrix in which every board member has to ask at least one other board member for their gift.
  • Hold a solicitation training to get everyone ready.

Then…let them go!

A few things to remember:

  • Board members should work in teams to do the solicitations. Otherwise they might “chicken out.”
  • Solicitations must happen in person. Email is a no-no. Over the phone is a last resort, used only for people who are out of town indefinitely!
  • Every board member should be asked for a specific amount based on what they’ve given in previous years, an overall board goal, or perhaps a special need (such as a campaign gift).  It’s the staff’s job to guide this process.
  • Set deadlines and make this thing move fast! The more energy and speed the leadership pair can muster, the better.
  • Treat every board member as a special donor. After all, these are your closest friends and donors.

We highly recommend you get on this as soon as spring break is over. April through May 30 is the ideal time. People tend to be in town and you’ll get the board gifts out of the way well before the fall fundraising season.

Give it a go and let us know what pans out!



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