In the past series of posts I’ve talked about the reasons many board members loathe fundraising. It boils down to: (1) fear (see here, here and here; (2) lack of clarity about their role (see here, hereand here, and (3) insufficient framing, training, coaching and cheer leading by staff. As much as we staff love to blame our board members for failing to step up to the plate, often our first step to find the real culprit should be taking a look in our own mirrors.
What if you were to frame ‘fundraising’ for your board as being simply about telling stories; then building relationships with folks who are interested in and intrigued by those stories, and then guiding these interested parties to the place where they, too, can become part of the story? Whenever my friends say to me: “Oh, your job must be so difficult! I can’t imagine having to go out and ask people for money,” my response is that I’m not asking people for money. I’m asking people for love. It’s the difference between ‘fundraising’ and ‘philanthropy’. I ask folks to jump into a really awesome story and become a part of the plot.
Your board members are story tellers. This is what they do in their role as ambassadors, advocates and askers. Have you ever had a board member complain that “we’re a well-kept secret?” Well, this is what happens when board members aren’t out there in the community sharing your vision, mission and values. If no one tells your story, then no one will care what happens. A story untold will never unfold.
Said center fielder Angel Pagan: “We need people like this here. Hunter is a very positive person. It doesn’t matter if the game was 20-0. He believes we can win it. He gave us that energy, that fight.”