How many times have you lamented your board not getting involved in fundraising? If you’re like many of my clients I’ve worked with, getting your board engaged in the fundraising process is essential to your success. I’ve been there – budgets are tight, time is limited and you need more resources to really have the impact you want to have on the world (or at least your corner of it).
Before we get too frustrated though, we need to see it from the board member’s point of view. While there are several things that might get in the way of their involvement, there are three reasons that come up time and time again.
First, they don’t know what you mean when you say you want them to help fundraise. Fundraising can mean so many different things – grant writing, events, personal asks, home parties, direct mail, crowdfunding, etc. Because they’re not sure what you’re asking, they’re not comfortable saying yes.
Next, they’re don’t know how to do it. And, it is really uncomfortable to fail at something as an adult – especially for our board members. They’re typically leaders in their own profession, often have advanced degrees and have worked really hard to develop their reputation as leaders. The one constant in learning something new is that we often have to fail – and that is really hard for our board members to face.
A third common obstacle that I’ve seen is that they want to make sure that their efforts have a significant payoff. So while many boards may lean towards events, if we can educate them on Return on Investment (ROI) of different approaches, we can often help them make decisions that will result in a greater impact.
So, those are three obstacles I’ve seen. What are yours? What are you doing to overcome them? Please respond below!