As a non-profit organization, executives and development staff have seen challenges of having to inspire Board Members to be fundraisers, and this is due to the fears of having to do fundraising.
So, the first thing that must be done is to cultivate positive Board Members who are able to do fundraising, and this can be first done by having them recognize their fears. So what things are repeated in fundraising so much that they have become our mental shortcuts?
1. Well, our brain tends to overemphasize negative things and underemphasize the positive.
2. Our brain also seeks information that supports our existing beliefs and will tend to ignore that which is consistent. This we’ll call confirmation bias.
So therefore, you first must have the Board Members identify their existing beliefs and feelings about fundraising. This though has nothing to do with lack of interest, its often a result of very relatable feelings: fear and inexperience. It can be extremely intimidating to ask for money, and not know where to start.
To succeed in fundraising your board should be at the core of your efforts. Using these three steps will help you get started.
a. In the beginning clear objectives should be set letting Board members know of your fundraising expectations; and as new recruits come in, reset those expectations for them also.
b. Every Board member needs to be involved in goal setting. These goals should be outlined for the year and each member is made aware of the projected expenses and how much you will need to raise; as well as how much will be used to run your programs and its final impact.
c. Teaching your Board member how to fundraise is very important. Before launching a fundraiser, be prepared with a plan and share information collected with board members – good practice to implement, whenever you have all your resources together, bringing in a consultant to run fundraising workshops, which will help board members to be more at ease.
As a bonus, make sure that a plan is set in place for building strong relationships with new donors brought in by a Board member, and be sure to recognize the members who bring in new donors