Whenever I begin fundraising consulting with a new client, one of the first things I always stress is the importance of 100% board participation.
In this week’s Ask the Fundraising Expert video, you’ll discover why it’s so important that every board member contribute monetarily, regardless of any other contributions they make.
I’ve summarized the key points of this video below.
The Key Points
100% board participation means that every member of an organization’s board needs to both give a yearly donation AND be a meaningful part of the process of soliciting gifts from others.
Which leads to today’s question:
What about long-distance board members who are not only giving their time, but are also spending money to travel to board meetings and other obligations for your nonprofit? How do you encourage these members to make a yearly gift?
My answer to this question is the same for long-distance board members (those have to buy a plane ticket or a tank of gas to travel to meetings) as it is for members who provide in-kind services, such as accounting.
Why Every Board Member Must Donate
Buying a plane ticket or providing in-kind services doesn’t pay the light bill. It doesn’t make your mortgage or rent payment, and it doesn’t pay staff salaries. Your board, more than anyone else, needs to understand this.
That’s not the only reason your long-distance board members need to make their own gift. The other reason has to do with fundraising. How can you recruit outside donors when your own board, the people who are most intimately involved with your organization, aren’t making financial gifts of their own?
A large part of your board members’ job is to be the first people to raise their hands when the time comes to give both time and money. Not just to help you pay the light bill and the mortgage, but also to lead the way so others will do the same.
However, this doesn’t mean that your organization needs to set a one-size-fits all minimum gift for board members.
The Expectation of Your Board Members
The expectation should be that each member will make a generous gift based on their family’s budget. For one member that gift might be $300. For others, the amount could range from $3,000 to $30,000 and up.
If each member of your board does this, you’ll have the 100% participation you need to both help fund your nonprofit’s important work and to inspire outside donors to make generous gifts of their own.
Let’s talk about it!
Have you come up with a unique way to inspire 100% participation on your board? What kind of challenges have you faced when soliciting your board for their annual gift?
Share your triumphs, frustrations, and suggestions in the comments.
Do you have a question about fundraising that you’d like to “Ask the Fundraising Expert”? Ask in the comments below or contact me here.
For regular video lessons from Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, subscribe to Amy’s YouTube channel.