Board Fundraising Plan B


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Options for increasing nonprofit board engagement in fundraising.

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Board Fundraising Plan B

  1. 1. Getting Your Board to Raise Money: Plan B (and C and D and…) Presented by Andy Robinson Sponsored by Common Good Vermont
  2. 2. Where are you now? ● When it comes to fundraising, what is your board doing well? ● Where do you need improvement?
  3. 3. To raise money successfully, you need four things: ● A strong case for giving ● Prospective donors to ask ● People to do the asking ● Systems to track data, money, donor recognition, etc.
  4. 4. Most nonprofits can strengthen all these areas, but here’s the biggest challenge: √ A strong case for giving √ Prospective donors to ask !!! Not enough askers √ Systems to track data, money, donor recognition, etc.
  5. 5. Not everyone will be an asker, so we have to redefine fundraising to engage our volunteer leaders: It’s not just about asking for money
  6. 6. “The Ask” Educate & cultivate Thank & recognize Identify prospects Involve
  7. 7. Where’s the money? 2009: $303 billion in private giving ● 13% Foundations ● 5% Corporations ● 75% Individuals ● 7% Bequests
  8. 8. ● 68-70% of households contribute ● The typical household supports 5-10 organizations per year. ● The median amount contributed per household is $1,300-$2,000 per year
  9. 9. The psychology of fundraising: Why do you give?
  10. 10. The three “non-negotiables” Everyone must: 1. Give money 2. Give names (prospecting) 3. Participate Boards and fundraising:
  11. 11. Everyone must give money because: ● Karma: It’s easier to raise money if you give it yourself ● It’s a litmus test: Are you prepared to lead if you’re not prepared to invest? ● People are watching: Donors ask, “Do you have 100% board giving?”
  12. 12. Everyone must give names because: ● All fundraising begins with the creation of lists ● 70% of the people you know give to nonprofits ● The average American adults knows 150-200 people
  13. 13. Everyone must participate because: ● The more people involved, the more money you raise ● We need to break down the false division between program work and fundraising. Effective organizations embrace the wisdom that fundraising equals organizing, advocacy, education, and market research
  14. 14. “Plan B” for structuring your board 1. Organizing the board based on your income options ● Review income mix in relation to your programs ● Compare to ideal income mix for your group: where do you want your money to come from? ● Divide up board by funding sources: foundations, government, membership, etc. ● Each team develops its own work plan Source: Board Café,, 8/13/07.
  15. 15. 2. Seasonal board ● Create seasonal work groups or committees (3-4 per year) ● Each work group focuses on one project per season in each of three areas: fundraising, program, and structure (adapt as you see fit) ● Each work group includes at least a few non-board members ● Executive committee provides oversight throughout the year; everyone else works intensively during one quarter per year. Source: “The Seasonal Board” by Jill Vialet, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, November/December 2004,
  16. 16. 3. Replace development committee with four committees ● Create separate committees for acquisition, retention, and upgrading, plus an oversight committee ● Set appropriate benchmarks for each committee – these won’t always be dollars raised ● Everyone participates, but they get to choose their committee assignment Source: “How to Get Your Board to Raise Money: Plan X” by Kim Klein, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, 2000.
  17. 17. 4. Create temporary work groups for each fundraising project ● No standing development committee ● Create a calendar of time-limited fundraising projects: phone bank, fundraising event, personalized membership mailing, business breakfast, major gifts campaign, etc. ● You need enough volunteers so that no individual gets more than two or three assigned projects and has time off in between. Source: “How to Get Your Board to Raise Money: Plan X” by Kim Klein, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, 2000.
  18. 18. 5. Create and use a fundraising menu that outlines board participation options ● Board develops list of options; these are formatted into a menu ● Everyone creates their own personalized fundraising plans based on the menu ● Individual report-backs at every board meeting: “This is what I did since the last board meeting to support fundraising” ● Development committee (or equivalent) provides oversight and accountability
  19. 19. 6. Create challenges and incentives ● External challenge (grants, major gifts) based on board behavior; benchmark doesn’t have to be money, but rather number of new prospect names, number of donor visits, etc. ● Internal challenge from a key board member ● Competition: Divide board into teams ● Individual prizes based on benchmarks: meals, services, gift certificates, B&B nights, etc. ● Symbolic awards: Most Improved Fundraiser, Courageous Asker, etc.
  20. 20. 7. Board? What board? Let’s focus on the staff ● Build a fundraising component into everyone’s job description ● Invest significant time (and money?) in staff development and training ● As an option, organize an annual all-staff major donor drive ● Engage board members as available and interested; for example, going along on donor visits Source: “More Askers = More Money,” Grassroots Fundraising Journal, May/June, 2007.
  21. 21. Developing a board fundraising menu Adapted from the Ohio Environmental Council, www.theoec.orgBoard of Directors “2006 Menu of Opportunities” This is an “all-you-can-eat” menu! Please circle as many items as you like—but at least one per category . NAME: __________________________ Appetizers Provide names of donor prospects Attend and mingle with donors on a “Real Ohio” Tour Invite donors to attend “Real Ohio” Tours Sign & personalize letters to current and prospective donors Attend and mingle with donors at a House Party Help to develop a plan to solicit major gifts Advocate for OEC and serve as an enthusiastic community relations representative (be an ambassador) Write a newsletter article for the Watch!
  22. 22. Entrées Make a significant gift Include the OEC in your estate plan Host a House Party Accompany staff on visit to major donor Make thank you calls to donors Recruit Annual Reception sponsors Recruit new board members with capacity and connections Desserts Help gain access to workplaces for Earth Share Promote and attend OEC Lobby Day Collect other organizations’ annual reports, donor lists & programs Promote and attend OEC Annual Reception and mingle with donors Acquire or donate silent auction item donations for Annual Reception Forward emails and newsclips featuring OEC to current and prospective donors
  23. 23. Sample volunteer fundraising agreement Name ____________________________________ Date _________________ To support the mission of our organization, I agree to take on the following: 1. My gift: $___________ Payment completed by (date) ________________ Terms of payment (check, credit card, installments, etc.) ___________________ _________________________________________________________________ 2. Prospects. I will provide names and contact information for _______ prospects by (date) ________. Even if I am unable to follow up with all of these people personally, I will still add names to the list for mailings, event invitations, etc.
  24. 24. Sample volunteer fundraising agreement (continued) 3. My fundraising support tasks (taken from our menu): a. Activity____________________________________________ Date(s) ______________________ Projected revenue (if applicable) $_______ Help / support needed from staff or board _____________________ _______________________________________________________ b. Activity ______________________________________________ Date(s) ______________________ Projected revenue (if applicable) $_______ Help / support needed from staff or board _____________________ _______________________________________________________ c. Activity______________________________________________ Date(s) _____________________ Projected revenue (if applicable) $_______ Help / support needed from staff or board _____________________ _______________________________________________________
  25. 25. They said they would raise money … now what?Encouraging board follow-through and accountability 1. Identify a sparkplug or a team of sparkplugs – then empower them to lead. 2. Develop a board agreement or job description that includes fundraising. 3. At each board meeting, everyone self-reports.
  26. 26. 5. Create a line item in the budget for board fundraising. 6. Solicit challenge gifts based on board behavior – not necessarily tied to dollars raised. 7. Provide regular fundraising training for your board. 8. Invite a group of your donors to talk about why they give.
  27. 27. 9. Offer rewards to those who make an effort. 10. Make it competitive. 11. Define real consequences for not meeting commitments – then apply them. 12. Bring in new blood. Source: “They Said They Would Raise Money … Now What?” Grassroots Fundraising Journal, July/August 2008.
  28. 28. Good luck and stay in touch!