4 Key Ways For Board Members To Lead Fundraising

Donald Cowper 14 June 2017 0 comments

2017-06-20 Larry Johnson Webinar ImageThis is a guest post from fundraising expert Larry Johnson, the presenter of our free webinar, introducing you to The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising®, which you can watch here
 
With any project or undertaking, the results you end up with have a lot to do with how you organize and deploy your resources.
 
Fundraising is no different.
 
Getting the right folks out in “front” is essential to success.
 
In my book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising®, Principle 3 is Leadership Leads™. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is easy to understand.
 
Implementing it, not so much.
 
Leaders lead first by example. Positional leaders in a nonprofit are its board members. Whatever board members do, others emulate.
 
That’s why it’s so important for donors to lead by making their own investments first. Otherwise, the question you’re likely to get from a serious donor will be, “Why haven’t those who stand to gain the most made their investments? Is there something I should know?”
 
Leading in fundraising begins with making a believable investment in the cause but it doesn’t end there.

Actively participating in the getting of investments is the next step.
 
There are many board members who will make a gift—sometimes a very good one—who will immediately recoil or flinch when asked to “fundraise.”
 
Why? Because “fundraise” is often a euphemism for “solicit.”
 
“I can’t ask,” they say. Whether it’s ask their relatives, friends or total strangers, they insist they are uniquely unqualified for the job.
 
Well, some folks are cut out for soliciting and some are not. We can debate whether someone is capable. From my experience, there are far more who are capable than there are who say they are up to the task.
 
Reducing fundraising to soliciting, doesn’t do board member fundraising responsibilities justice, however.

The 4 Key Ways For Board Members to Lead Fundraising

There are actually at least four ways members of your governing board need to participate in fundraising.
 

1) Act as Advocates

First, as advocates for your organization. Telling the story and telling it with knowledge and passion. Being convincing.
 

2) Network

Second, as networkers. Principle 5 of The Eight Principles™ is Work from the Inside Out™. As everyone in the world is connected in six degrees of separation or less, it’s easy to see how quickly your network of supporters can mushroom with a little help from your board members.
 

3) Evaluate

Third, there is evaluating. Knowing how to review an annual fundraising plan and critique it. Looking at a fundraising report and knowing the right variables to hone in on (Hint: one of them isn't cash received). Knowing the qualities you’re looking for in a development officer—and it’s not being a bounty hunter. Being able to evaluate fundraising progress effectively that feeds into the ability to see that your program is resourced adequately and effectively.
 

4) Solicit

Finally, there is soliciting. Yes, someone has to ask. And there will be times when the person doing the ask can and should be a board member. My rule of thumb: the person doing an ask should be the person most likely to get a “yes.”
 
Although asking is essential it’s actually a very small part of the whole. And without the other three pieces, I can guarantee that the asking won’t be very productive.
 
The question to ask yourself is, “Are the privates or the generals leading the charge?”
 
Let’s hope it’s your generals.
 
These are just a few of the many ways your organization can dramatically increase the funds it raises . To learn more, including how to overcome the biggest obstacle to fundraising most organizations ignore, please watch my free webinar "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising®."  

 

Additional Resources:


Larry JohnsonAn internationally recognized fundraising and philanthropy coach, Larry coaches worthy causes to achieve real impact by building stable revenue streams and guiding philanthropists to realize their visions through informed generosity.

Author of the award-winning book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising®, AFP named Larry Outstanding Development Executive in 2010. The Wall Street Business Network ranks him in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the USA. Larry is a graduate of Yale University.

Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles, the premier source of relational fundraising products and services. The Eight Principles provides digital fundraising education, live workshops and structured coaching to nonprofit organizations. The Eight Principles gives nonprofit consultants and financial services professionals who serve nonprofits the ability to enlarge and enhance their practices by offering and delivering the full-range of Eight Principles products.

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Donald Cowper

Posted by Donald Cowper

Published Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 10:21 AM

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