Follow Social Velocity on Google Plus Follow Social Velocity on Facebook Follow Nell Edgington on Twitter Follow SocialVelocity on Linked In View the Social Velocity YouTube Channel Get the Social Velocity RSS Feed

Download a free Financing Not Fundraising e-book when you sign up for email updates from Social Velocity.

7 Things Board Members Can Do To Raise More Money

By Nell Edgington



I am often asked by exhausted board members and executive directors what the board can do to raise more money. My answer, let me tell you right away, is NEVER to launch a new event.  Don’t get me started on my anti-events rant, that’s another post.

But there are other things that board members can do to raise significantly more money for their organization, in a much more effective way.  Here are 7 to get you started:

  1. Invest. Make a significant financial investment in the organization.  This is so obvious, yet rarely does a nonprofit organization enjoy 100% giving from their board.  And those that do, often have several board members who are only making “token” gifts.  If the nonprofit on whose board you serve isn’t on the list of your top 3 nonprofits and you aren’t allocating your philanthropic dollars accordingly, then get off the board.

  2. Open Doors. Open up your network to the organization. We all have friends, colleagues, co-workers, family members, neighbors.  They may not all be $10,000+ level givers, but you would be surprised at the capacity that probably does exist there.  If you really believe in the organization, then spread the word about your involvement to your network and encourage them to become involved.  If you’re uncomfortable doing this then perhaps you need to rethink how committed you are to the organization.

  3. Get Strategic. Demand that your nonprofit create a strategic plan. Without an articulated direction and a strategy for getting there how are you going to get donors to invest? So many nonprofit organizations operate without a plan, and that’s probably why they struggle to raise funds. People donate to a cause, but they invest in a executable strategy for impact.  The former results in small gifts, the latter brings big dollars.

  4. Expand the Revenue Model. Often nonprofit organizations take a narrow approach to thinking about bringing money in the door.  They may have a direct mail campaign, get some government and foundation grants and call it a day. Instead, take a bigger picture view of the business that you are in and the various ways you could finance, not fundraise for, the end goal. Executive and development directors are often so caught up in the day-to-day of funding operations that they don’t have the luxury of taking this big picture view, but that’s where the board can step in.

  5. Fund Revenue-Generating Capacity. Make sure the organization invests in sufficient development capacity. Budget for and find a top-notch development director. Secure outside expertise to create a solid, executable development plan. Train the board on their role in fundraising. Don’t ask the organization to cut corners on development expenses, because you will just pay the price later.

  6. Articulate Why Someone Should Give. It’s so obvious to you why you are involved in your nonprofit. But can you articulate that to others in a compelling way? Can you demonstrate how a significant community problem is being solved by your organization? Can you do it in 2 minutes? Can the other board members and the staff do it? If not, then you need to create a case for support.

  7. Get the Board on Board. Once you’ve done all of these things, get your fellow board members on the boat. The nonprofit sector is structured to be led by consensus. So it isn’t enough for you as a sole board member to “see the light.”  You have a responsibility to convince your fellow board members that they can’t think small anymore. They have to invest, get strategic, open doors, and so on.  Once you are all on the same page, you will be a force to be reckoned with.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get your board raising money for your nonprofit, check out our Getting Your Board to Fundraise on demand webinar.

And if you want a roadmap for making your board more effective, download the “10 Traits of a Groundbreaking Board” e-book.

I promise you, there is an answer. It doesn’t have to be so hard. Board members can help their struggling nonprofits to find a path toward financial sustainability.


Learn more about nonprofit innovation and
download a free Financing Not Fundraising e-book
when you sign up for email updates
from Social Velocity.


About the Author: Nell Edgington is President of Social Velocity (www.socialvelocity.net), a management consulting firm leading nonprofits to greater social impact and financial sustainability. Social Velocity helps nonprofits grow their programs, bring more money in the door, and use resources more effectively. For more information, check out Social Velocity consulting services and clients.


Tags: , , , , ,


10 Comments to 7 Things Board Members Can Do To Raise More Money

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by changefeed, Nell Edgington, Kira Campo, Suzanne Potts, Luis Davila and others. Luis Davila said: RT @CDEgger: 7 gems here cc @peterdeitz #nonprofits RT @nedgington: 7 things #nonprofit board members can do to raise more money: http://bit.ly/b1qrbm [...]

Nonprofit Blog Carnival
March 31, 2010

[...] great Board Member post was submitted by Social Velocity, 7 Things Board Members Can Do To Raise More Money. My favorite is number 6, “Articulate Why Someone Should Give.” I saw this as modeling [...]

[...] 7 Things Board Members Can Do To Raise More Money at Social Velocity [...]

[...] “… there are other things that board members can do to raise significantly more money for their organization, in a much more effective way.  Here are 7 to get you started: Click here for full post [...]

Fundly
February 7, 2011

I’m a huge fan of #3 – Get Strategic. People do invest in Strategy. They want to know that their money is going to be used well and truly make a difference.

[...] 7 Things Board Members Can Do To Raise More Money [...]

This is very helpful information. Thank you.

Nell Edgington
April 10, 2013

I’m glad to hear it, Natasha. Thanks!

Leave a comment


Share





Search the Social Velocity Blog