If I told you that you may be missing out on an opportunity to raise funds, you would listen right? The truth is, if you have not prepared and equipped your board to be a part of the fund raising process, you are missing a significant opportunity to raise funds! Think about your current board. Is it filled with people that believe in your ministry, people vested in your organization and men and women that have committed to the purpose and the vision of what you are trying to accomplish? If you said yes, then your board is full of fundraisers waiting to be trained to go.
The duties of your board should include five primary tasks:
1. Protect the mission of the organization
2. Hire and evaluate the Executive Director
3. Establish policy guidelines
4. Help accomplish the vision of the organization
5. Be a powerful part of the fundraising efforts
The first four tasks are somewhat easy and expected; but fundraising, that’s another story. A lot of people are initially intimidated by the thought of asking for money. However, if you make the decision to prepare and equip your board, they will become a crucial and exciting part of your future.
The best way to prepare board members is to start from the beginning and offer an orientation session that explains the expectation to raise funds. If you have this type of orientation upfront, you will give people a chance to say no before they become board members which will go a long way in preventing surprises and avoiding unhappiness when they are asked to help with fundraising opportunities.
As their leader, you must provide the support and training they need to be comfortable in the activities that will make them successful. Good training would consist of these areas:
1. Fundraising Basics – Knowing how to approach a prospect and gaining commitment by setting the appointment
2. Knowing How to Communicate the Mission – Every fundraiser should be able to clearly and comfortably articulate the mission and vision of the organization
3. Shadowing and Team – Board members should not go at it alone, always team them up or go with them to visit donors and prospects
Recruiting and training board members to help you fulfill your vision is akin to hiring 4, 6, or 12 new team members. Don’t overlook the people that are committed and qualified to help spread the word of the crucial work you are doing!