In part one of this post I shared the two strategic opportunities nonprofits have to impact their board giving. The first area is during board recruitment. Setting the stage for giving when recruiting each board member is key to creating a culture of philanthropy in your nonprofit.
But what if you inherited a board that wasn't recruited for their giving gene? What if the culture is one where "we give our time - not our money"? It's not a lost cause. You can have a board that gives generously. Turning the tide begins with a successful board campaign.
Find a Champion
Every successful board campaign needs to champion - a board member who understands the importance of 100% board giving and is willing to lead the charge. Hopefully, this is the Board Chair. If it's not, your champion's first role is to bring the Board Chair along and get them excited about the idea of the campaign.
Develop the Message
Help your champion develop talking points for engaging other members of the board. He or she needs to be able to articulate why board giving is important and why everyone should participate.
Treat Board Members Like Prospects/Donors
Passing out pledge cards at a board meeting is NOT a board campaign. We want board members to give because they are closest to our organization. Yet, we often fail to treat our philanthropic relationship with them the same way we do with others who give to our cause.
When doing a board campaign best practices still apply. Not only are you campaigning - but you are also modeling great campaign practices. This is a learning opportunity for your board.
Board campaigns should include:
- Peer to peer solicitation.
- Asking for specific amount based on the giving ability of the board member.
- Prompt gift acknowledgement and appropriate recognition.
- Ongoing stewardship.
Those who know your mission best should be among your very best donors. The number one reason people give is because they are asked. Board members are no exception. So, if your board is not giving, maybe it's time to start asking.