It’s always been a common question, but I feel like I’m hearing it more lately: Does 100% of your board contribute financially?
The reason is pretty clear. I mean really, if those closest to the organization, those who know the most about the needs / resources / etc. don’t give, then why should anyone else?
I’d extend that beyond just the board though. What percentage of your staff contributes to you financially? I know, I know. Staff members contribute by being paid less than they might be paid in a comparable for-profit company. Sure, I’ll acknowledge that a staff campaign will be run much different than an external campaign, but I still think that you should do it. It’s not about the money, it’s about being able to illustrate how much the people who are closest to you see the importance of what you do – and support it.
And finally, volunteers. I’ve heard of some agencies where the volunteer manager wants to ‘protect’ ‘her’ (or ‘his’) volunteers from the development office and from fundraising campaigns. All I’ll say about that is that volunteers are about 90% more likely to donate than non-volunteers.
All this to say, if you’re going to be asking those outside the organization to support you financially, start with those inside the organization.
Stay tuned for a few more tips.