Boards and Bucks: 3 Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraising Campaign

Most nonprofit organizations rely on their board members to spread the word about their work. Board members’ personal and professional networks can be a veritable gold mine for organizations with active fundraising campaigns.

Many association foundation boards actively engage in fundraising. Others may be reluctant do so or unaware of the tremendous impact they can have. A personal “ask” from many of them could mean a new donor to an organization.

Actively engaging your board in fundraising requires careful planning. In a recent blog post, Caryn Stein, vice president, communications and content, Network for Good offered some great suggestions for creating board fundraising campaigns. Here are three that I found particularly insightful:

  1. Obtain buy-in by illustrating how board members’ individual efforts contribute to larger goals. Get your board excited about your campaign by giving them a clear vision of your target that shows the impact on your mission, as well as your bottom line. Next, help them see how their involvement will help you expand your outreach and raise more money.
  2. Get specific and focused. Instead of a general fundraising appeal, your campaign may be more effective when it focuses on a specific project, program, or emergency need. This can also set the campaign apart from other appeals and help make the impact feel more tangible for potential donors.
  3. Help board members personalize their outreach. Encourage board members to add their photos, short stories about why they support your cause, and possibly a video featuring them speaking authentically about their campaign. This will inspire more of their network to give, since they’ll feel a more personal connection to “the ask.” Your board members may not need help doing this, but be prepared to lend a hand since it will make a big difference.

It seems to me that these strategies are applicable to not only fundraising, but to working with volunteers in general. If you help them to be successful, boards and bucks (or other benefits to your organization) will be synonymous.