Have you heard these excuses before?
“We were forced to fundraise when I started on this board.”
“I do the golf outing. That’s how I participate in the annual campaign.”
“For me, it would be a conflict of interest, so I don’t fundraise.”
“It’s the responsibility of the staff to raise money.”
Rescigno’s has worked with many nonprofit leaders over the years and we’ve yet to come across one who doesn’t deal with issues like the ones just cited.
If you’re at your wits end and just want to scream, consider the following:
We work with many leaders of nonprofits and they all deal with the same issues. Don’t give up on your board until you consider their attitudes and fundraising abilities.
Most boards have at least a couple of members willing to take on a fundraising role. Nurture their potential, if you can.
Identify board members and ask them to work with staff members on the annual campaign. Though they may not create the plans, they should contribute.
New campaign leaders may worry that not all board members have an interest in participating. That’s ok; just try to add to your list on a yearly basis.
Understand their role and your expectations — explain and remind often.
Give them a goal to shoot for. One of our clients sets a goal of 100% of the board giving 20% of the goal while helping to raise another 50%.
Challenge your board to take on a portion of your campaign as the board’s “project.” Focus on one specific project.
Any other suggestions that you’ve implemented and found successful would be greatly appreciated. We learn from each other, so please share your expertise.