Fundraising Consultant, David Suzuki Foundation
Are you drinking too much merlot and muttering that your board “just doesn’t get it”? Why aren’t they perfect fundraising ambassadors who make their own gifts first and champion every campaign?
Think of the way you treat a red-hot prospect in your major gifts program. That’s right – it’s like prom night but with better manners. Meanwhile, a board member is treated like the grumpy old chaperone. Where is the romance? No wonder they run when you mention fundraising.
Think about your board members as prospects themselves. They are prospective ambassadors, donors and champions of your fundraising activities and like every prospect, you need to develop their relationship with the organization. Think of this in terms of the major gifts cycle. Research your board members, cultivate a relationship with them, engage them in philanthropic activity for your organization and steward their actions and successes.
If this sounds time-consuming, it isn’t. I’ll talk more at the conference about how to engage your board as a group and get even the most reluctant members to think about fundraising in a different and positive light.
Siobhan is currently working in major gifts for Junior Achievement and the David Suzuki Foundation. She will be presenting “Cultivating Your Board’s Interest in Fundraising” at AFP Congress 2011.