Turn Your Board Into Fundraising Champions

Fundraising is no walk in the park. Sometimes, even though you feel like you’re doing everything right, nothing seems to move the needle with donors. But there may be a secret weapon hiding in plain sight: your board of directors.

Your board is a unique and valuable asset in your fundraising strategy. They’re not only passionate about your mission, but they bring a wealth of experience, connections, and influence that can seriously boost your ability to secure funding.

Board members are more than just a list of names. There’s an opportunity for them to become your strategic partner and help drive your fundraising success.


Why Board Members Matter in Fundraising

Board members play a crucial role in fundraising for several reasons:

  • Credibility and trust. Board members are often well-respected individuals in their respective space or community. Their involvement not only lends credibility to your organization, but bolsters trust among potential donors.
  • Network and connections. Your board often has extensive networks of personal and professional contacts who could serve as potential donors or major gift prospects.
  • Strategic guidance. There’s valuable input that can come from your board, who may have experience in finance and business. They may be able to offer fresh insight into fundraising strategies and resource allocation.
  • Passion and advocacy. Their commitment to your cause can cause a ripple effect to motivate and inspire others to help advance your mission. 

These are powerful strengths that can help you unlock a wealth of fundraising opportunities and significantly amplify your impact.

Now, let’s dive into some various approaches so you can get everyone on board (pun intended)!


Building a Fundraising Culture

An important step to get your board members involved is to cultivate an organizational culture where fundraising is seen as a shared responsibility, not just up to development staff. Sure, hitting budgets do ultimately fall on a few team members’ shoulders but when you’re working together to help advance the same cause, fundraising is the glue that keeps everyone on the same team.

Integrate fundraising into board meetings, and involve board members in your annual planning efforts. If you regularly discuss fundraising goals, strategies, and progress in these meetings, your board members will by default have a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses of your program.

And don’t forget to make your board feel appreciated for anything you involve them in. Recognize and celebrate any fundraising achievements they may have, both big and small.


Defining Roles and Responsibilities

No board member is the same, and not everyone will feel comfortable asking for money. But the good news is, there are numerous ways for them to contribute!

If there are some who are passionate about fundraising and eager to take on a leadership role, identify them. Then, see if other board members will leverage their existing networks to connect your team with potential donors.

Board members can also help plan and execute fundraising events as yet another way for them to leverage their skills and connections. And finally, no matter what, your board members can actively advocate for your organization and its mission to generate awareness and attract potential donors.


Provide Training and Support

It’s normal for your board to feel unsure about their fundraising abilities. So, it’s crucial that they feel supported in these efforts – and providing necessary training can only empower them to succeed.

Try hosting various workshops for them on donor cultivation, solicitation techniques, or best practices when speaking to prospects. You could also compile toolkits or guides that can serve as a lower lift way to share this type of information with your board.


Leverage Networking and Relationships

Create opportunities for board members to connect with potential donors within their networks, whether it’s a lunch or industry-specific gathering. Encourage your board members to personally introduce themselves when talking to potential donors about your organization and its mission. Their personal touch is invaluable to help build trust and secure donations. 

Their expertise and background could even help identify potential corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, or major donors.


Tracking and Measuring Success

It’s helpful to set some goals so that each member knows what they might be working towards, and monitor the amount of money that can be attributed to their engagement in fundraising activities. Report on this progress regularly, to help remind them of their overall impact on annual budget goals.

You’ll want to track the impact of your board’s fundraising efforts. That way, you can identify what’s working and what might need to change – and of course, show them some gratitude for their accomplishments!

It’s important to acknowledge that what you’re asking from your board is no easy feat. Encourage open communication and feedback from board members so that you can address their concerns and tailor your strategy accordingly.

By considering these approaches, you can leverage the power of your board members and turn them into fundraising superstars!


Check out these other resources to help you find the right way to engage your board:
Diversity and your Board
Letting Go of Board Members

Download this guide to building your board’s confidence in fundraising.

Interested to learn more about how we train boards not feel like fundraising is the “f” word, reach out to us.


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