A constant challenge for nonprofits—almost every nonprofit, everywhere—is getting board members to raise funds. With the right motivation, training, and support, some of your board members can overcome their hesitation. Start with clear ground rules about your fundraising expectations prior to bringing a new board member onboard. Discuss any requirements that board members will make personal and/or business contributions within a specific timeframe. Be equally specific about any expectation that board members are to ask others for contributions.
Part of the problem is that few board members know how to do fundraising, and most are afraid to ask others to give. You can help some board members get past their fears. Begin by inviting them to open up their Rolodexes, e-mail contacts, holiday card lists, etc. to identify potential contributors. That means going to their offices or homes and helping them identify prospects. Asking for gifts from friends, family, associates, and/or strangers can be very daunting, so you must provide lots of handholding and support if you want board members to succeed.
With the appropriate organizational structure, clear expectations, and high-quality training, some of your board members can become successful fundraisers. And don't forget that there are lots of legal and regulatory issues regarding fundraising that board members must also pay attention to. The following resources from IdeaEncore Network can help.
Flo Green, IdeaEncore NetworkIdeaEncore NetworkAttribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Florence (Flo) Green is co-founder and vice president of IdeaEncore Network (www.ideaencore.com), which envisions a future in which every nonprofit shares what they know. Nonprofits can use our online information resource exchange to save time/money by reusing shared knowledge, by uploading files/links for others to use (for free or to sell), by making their expertise visible by "liking," rating, and commenting, and by embedding their branded online library—that displays IdeaEncore resources—within their Web sites.
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