Talking about board fundraising ideas can make some board members push the panic button. Images of cold calls and uncomfortable conversations can cause the most dedicated and passionate board members to back away at board meetings. Helping with fundraising doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. There are lots of low-stress but effective ways to help.
Talk about this wonderful nonprofit with everyone you know. Tell your friends, family and business associates the success stories you hear at board meetings. Share newsletters. Tell them about the competent and confident staff. Help them to see the good work that the nonprofit does every day and create a positive impression of the organization. You never know when singing the praises of the nonprofit will plant the seed for a future donor. Also, when your network has heard you singing the praises of a nonprofit for months, asking for financial support will come across as genuine and heartfelt.
Everyone knows someone who might be interested in the mission of this nonprofit. Be willing to make a connection for the development staff, the CEO, or the chair of the fundraising committee. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can do this! You can write a personal note, make a phone call, and even go along on an appointment with your contact.
Most initial fundraising visits are about relationship building. Your contact won’t be asked for a donation right away. You may find that you enjoy telling the stories that make you love the nonprofit and you will have given a friend a chance to make an impact too.
If you’d like to improve your “ask” skills, start by making these intros to the people who will do the solicitation. Then, take this opportunity to really study their approach. Ideally, over time, you will feel comfortable taking a more active role in the ask, too! Board fundraising ideas that help you improve your skills are the best kind.
Are there events that the nonprofit uses for fundraising every year that you can invite friends to enjoy with you? Walkathons and galas are fun, and you can help your organization raise money while you enjoy time with friends. Would your friends who like to stay fit join you for the walkathon? Can you buy a table at an event and bring friends who like an evening out and would be interested in learning more about the organization you love?
Can you invite a friend to lunch to learn more about the organization and its work?
You may want to invite friends to your home for an evening get-together where they can learn about the great work that the organization is doing. Keep it fun and light, and your circle will look forward to whatever events you invite them to.
These are easy things that you can do to help expand the network of the nonprofit. With a slight adjustment to the social and educational activities you already do, you can also help your nonprofit find new donors. You may find that fundraising is FUN!
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