There are two fundamental reasons your nonprofit board doesn’t fundraise; either of which may an obstacle for your board:
- They don’t really care enough
- They are too anxious
Here, I’ll address the second reason:
So, what’s making your board so anxious about fundraising? When asked, board members universally provide three reasons:
- Fear of damaging a relationship
- Fear of rejection
There is a fairly simple way to help overcome the first two.
Board members need to be able to find out how their friends will react to the mission they are connected with when they are not asking for money. This does not require a crystal ball. It simply involves encouraging board members to get into the habit of introducing your organization and your work in ordinary conversation.
Most of us are always searching for topics to keep a conversation going. Why not use some good stories about your impact?
This does not mean giving an elevator pitch, but rather asking about the other person’s interests until you find a connection or concern that opens up an opportunity to tell a story about your organization. And that story is unique to each board member and based on individual experience and perspective.
This is the essence of sales: A sales professional will not introduce a product until they have identified a need.
As described in the post about Reason #1 for not engaging – not being connected to the mission – activities that strengthen board member connections to the mission will enable this by providing them with moving stories to tell.
The concern about reciprocity (quid pro quo fundraising) will diminish as board members learn to shift from a focus on soliciting small gifts to cultivating long-term donors.
Want to know more about reciprocity? Join us for a FREE webinar at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 12. We’ll discuss this and give you five key steps you can take to build a stronger fundraising team.
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