Board members are a nonprofit’s most avid constituents. They support you in every aspect of your organization, and are expected to donate and fundraise as well. The goal of nonprofit board fundraising is for all of its members to give and help your organization grow. There are many ways that nonprofit board members can assist in fundraising efforts – your role is to make sure they understand the importance of board fundraising.
4 Nonprofit Board Fundraising Strategies
Require 100% Board Giving
Every January ask each board member what their annual donation will be. Ask what their timing is – do they plan to donate monthly or give one amount. Some board members bring skills and services to your nonprofit rather than a significant donation. Even if their annual donation is small they should be expected to give. Board member donations motivate all of your donors to give. An example of this is to introduce a crowdfunding website for a fundraising event with a substantial donation from at least one board member.
Below is a set of tasks included in the strategic ask:
- Announce the campaign at the first board meeting of the year. Celebrate that it is their annual gift giving time. Offer members a pledge form for the year. Make certain this topic is added to the meeting agenda.
- Send a follow up email after the meeting, reminding them it’s time for their commitment. Reiterate what you said at the meeting. Attach a copy of the pledge/gift form and remind them of the deadline to give.
- Make follow up calls about halfway through the campaign to remind those who haven’t given yet you hope they’ll act soon.
- Send a final reminder email the day before the deadline, reminding them of the deadline.
- Call in reinforcements as needed. If you have a member or two who didn’t respond at all during the campaign, ask your board chair to call or email them. If board members have not donated, perhaps a call from the Board President or other board members is the next step. It is likely they haven’t gotten around to making their donation yet. Offer the option of setting up monthly, recurring donations in their name.
Matching Nonprofit Board Fundraising
Board members can offer a matching gift challenge to your larger constituency. One matching challenge is where board members donate a significant contribution if the nonprofit can raise an equivalent or higher amount from other donors. This does not have to be associated with an event. Holding several Facebook Live streaming broadcasts within a week is a great way to do an impromptu matching campaign. Feature the board member offering the challenge and invite program staff.
Hold a Fund-a-Need
Fund a cause is another name for a fund a need. It is a particularly good activity for nonprofit board fundraising. When board members give at high levels it often spurs other board members and donors to join. The satisfaction of being recognized in public for a donation creates healthy competition to give higher amounts. They may be added to a fundraising event, or held solo at a planned cocktail hour.
Board Fundraising Event Involvement
A donation from just one board member has the potential for great momentum in a fundraising event. Start as early as a year in advance in asking for your first contribution. Since board members are truly invested in wanting your event to succeed, they’ll invest in this opportunity. Many board members are business people and understand how investments work. When an investment is popular, more donors are attracted.
Highlight your initial, well-connected board member’s donation. Create a brief video and story about them and their reason for investing in your nonprofit. Advertise widely online. It would be fantastic if this board member would seek a public speaking engagement and plug your event. Strategically launch your fundraising website around the same time as your newsletter with a story of the hero member enclosed.
Another fundraising event idea is forming a host committee. A committee comprised of board members, donors and business leaders makes for a super fundraising team. Present your host committee with your strategic plan for the event. Entice them how specific you are in your goals. Include a list from your nonprofit CRM they may use to get started in reaching out to donors.
Fundraising is a responsibility of your board. Making sure your nonprofit has enough funds is a part of their job. When they lead the way in a fundraising campaign with a donation it sends a message to other donors.
Changing lives is one of the main reasons people become board members. To be engaged and give back is a common motivator. Sometimes they begin to serve on a board because they are a business leader and are told it is important to help nonprofits. They may find the ultimate motivation as they serve, and discover how good it feels to give back. As they learn about the projects, challenges and success stories their belief in you grows. For the same reason they give of their funds which is vital to your nonprofit.