It’s a given that as a member of a board of directors of a nonprofit, that you will have fundraising responsibility. At a minimum, a board member is expected to personally donate to the nonprofit. In addition, the nonprofit’s fundraising plan should identify the all fundraising activities and specify which require board members as participants. Some fundraising activities are suited for board members, others not.
LinkedIn’s Top News Today has included an article from The Social Velocity blog, 9 Ways Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising for “fundraising-shy” board members.
Some suggestions may not apply to your nonprofit, but they give you something to think about outside the cash drawer.
- Help create or evaluate a business plan for an earned income venture.
- Advocate for government money.
- Provide intelligence on prospects.
- Set up a meeting with a prospective customer.
- Email, call or visit a donor just to say thanks.
- Explain to a prospect why you serve.
- Host a small gathering at your home.
- Recruit an in-kind service.
- Negotiate a lower price from a vendor.
I take two broad lessons from this. One is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for board members. Each board member is recruited for the strengths (e.g., knowledge, skills, connections) brought to the board. Some board members are better at “traditional” fundraising than others. Secondly, the nonprofit should have a strategic approach to fundraising. This involves having a strategic plan and a strategic fundraising plan. The fundraising plan should be more than a calendar of fundraising activities.