Today’s question comes to us from Angela and it’s a great question. Angela writes:
The trouble that I have is getting past the ‘I don’t want to ask my friends for money’ response. What else can I do to motivate those board members who aren’t comfortable asking directly?
Share it with others — Today’s Tweetable:
This is something development directors run into all the time.
Here’s what I recommend:
Let’s try changing the way we talk and think about fundraising and start changing the attitudes of our board members. It’s not going to be easy, but when we’re successful, the payoff is huge!
So, instead of talking about fundraising per se, let’s talk about raising friends for the organization.
Talk About Impact
First things first, we need more advocates and people who love our organization. When you put it that way, your board members will have far less resistance to helping.
Also, instead of talking about money, talk about impact. Don’t say we need to raise $10,000. Say we need to help 50 more children learn to read. Who can resist that?
What if you simply asked your board member to help get their friends and colleagues engaged with your mission, cause, or organization? Could they bring their friends in to meet the kids you serve, or to help serve a meal, or take a tour of your programs in action?
Assign Doable Tasks to Board Members
I find that board members are resistant and reluctant whenever I ask them to do something they are uncomfortable with — like fundraising.
But, when I break fundraising down into doable tasks, board members are much more open to the idea.
You could say something like: one of our goals this year is to give a tour to 3 new people per week to help teach people about the issues around illiteracy. Would you be willing to bring three friends in for an hour tour next month ? They wouldn’t see that as fundraising, but they would have opened a door!
Changing their Attitude About Giving
I also want you to help your board members understand that fundraising isn’t about “begging” or arm twisting — it’s all part of changing the language we use and the attitude that people have.
Someone recently asked me if I thought board members should “give till it hurts.” All I could think was, my God, no! I don’t want giving to hurt — I want it to fee great! Giving should never hurt!
So, that’s my answer to your question, Angela. I hope it helps!
What kind of challenges have you faced with board members that are new to fundraising? Join the conversation below.
This post is part of my Year of the Fundraising Board series. Check out the entire series to learn how to create a stronger, smarter, and super motivated nonprofit board.