How to Craft a Nonprofit Board Orientation Strategy
|The inimitable Hugh MacLeod shows us the key to success|
Of all the tips I give board members about how to become successful fundraisers, by far the most important is this: Make your own passionate commitment first. Making this commitment entails just three simple things. And I let folks know that these things just happen to be the three keys to being the most kick-ass fundraiser on the planet. Plus they have absolutely nothing to do with technique.
What a board member says is not really that important. Here’s what is important:
1. Know your values and inspire yourself
Remind yourself what drew you to this organization and cause in the first place. What about it do you value? Did they help you, and you’re now giving back? Are you fulfilling a moral or religious obligation? Dig deep, and do whatever you must to understand the why of your involvement. Perhaps for you it’s reading scriptures… or inspiring quotes… or meditation… or walks in nature… or talking to friends… or singing, painting, dancing… whatever reveals your profound beliefs, joys and passions.
If you’re going to preach religion, you’ve got to get religion. Once you’ve “got” it, and you’re in touch with your values, then…
2. Passionately enact your values
Make your own gift, and make it at a passionate stretch level. If board members don’t make leadership gifts, then why would anyone else do so? It’s important to put your money where your mouth is and lead by example. There’s simply no substitute for this. “Social proof” is a big persuader. Board members provide the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” — that this is a worthwhile and effective organization worthy of philanthropic support — and others will look to see what they’re doing before they’ll make their own commitments.
If you’re going to talk it, you’ve got to walk it. Once you’ve made your own passionate gift, and are ardently practicing your religion, it’s time to…
3. Ask others to join you.
This should be a no-brainer. You’ve found love. Don’t you want others to find love as well? Once we overcome the “fundraising (money) taboo” and understand we’re really enabling philanthropy, then asking becomes a natural outgrowth of our involvement. It’s really no different than asking someone to… join you in a book group you enjoy… an exciting new restaurant… a church or synagogue group… a yoga class… Unless you’re trying to keep your cause a secret, why not share?
Don’t keep your organization the community’s best kept secret.
Would you agree with these 3 simple steps? Do you have others?
Other posts to help your board members embrace fundraising: