Updated: Mar 6
I'd like to reminder everyone, again, that just because we're in a pandemic doesn't mean you should stop your board development efforts!
It's time to get back in gear and move ahead with your board development efforts. Today I want to share a few tips with you on how you can build a major gifts board.
To clarify, I'm not talking about a board that raises major gifts. I'm talking about a board that gives major gifts (we can talk about their "get" of major gifts later).
Wouldn't you absolutely LOVE to have a board where every board member made their own gift of $5,000, $10,000 or even $25,000 each. Some Executive Directors dream about this but are never able to achieve it. Here's how the others do it. Remember, you can too with focused efforts.
1. Ask the Right Questions During Recruitment
A good way to find out if potential board members will be a major donor (and good fundraiser) is to ask questions about their past involvement in fundraising and their own giving preferences. You can't shy away from these questions during the interview process. If you do, you'll miss out on valuable information that can help you decide if the person is a good fit for your fundraising board.
2. Focus on the Pipeline
What are you doing to build your board pipeline of future board members? One great strategy that's working is young professionals groups. These volunteers range from 25-40 and are often highly engaged as volunteers. Many of the nonprofits that have young professionals groups ask them to fundraise. This is a great way for them to learn what it's like to be a volunteer fundraiser. They often move on to the board as they progress in their career and wealth journey.
3. Get So Good You Have a Waiting List!
You might be saying to yourself, "What the heck?! How could a board be so good that there's a waiting list?" It's not a legend and it does happen. I've seen it first-hand. I've worked with nonprofits that had people eagerly waiting to step up to serve on the board. These boards had what would be considered pretty significant give-gets (one was $25,000). Yet, that didn't stop people from lining up. The nonprofits were well known in the community, had a compelling mission, and offered connection among their board members. The CEOs were almost always in the news. They utilized their social media channels to have constant connection with the community. That commitment to the mission, coupled with strong leadership, compelled people to want to get involved at every level. You'll notice too, that the board members actively donated money. That's a key aspect of a fundraising board.
If your goal is to get your board to do more, be more, and serve more, start thinking about the future of your board now. Sustained fundraising by board members, doesn't happen overnight. You need a strong brand, a pipeline of future leaders to cultivate, and a plan.
Do you want to build a fundraising board? Click here for more tips.