Q: How can we involve our board in the model without pressuring them? Can you lean too heavily on the board?
Louis in Nevada
A: When it comes to fundraising, yes, you can lean too heavily on the board. The sooner the model becomes an organic, self-generating process that is not dependent on the board, the more your board will want to get involved with it!
Within the first several months of implementing the Benevon Model, we recommend that each nonprofit team put on a special Point of Entry Event for their board and have the Team Leader (most often a development staff member) make the follow-up call to each board member, just as you would make to any other guest.
If the Point of Entry is “sizzling,” you should hear board members saying, “Thank you! That tour reconnected me to why I got involved here in the first place.” When asked if there is anyone else they’d like to invite, many will offer to become official Ambassadors, hosting and filling a private Point of Entry with ten or more of their colleagues, friends, or family.
Of course, you would love it if every board member became an Ambassador and then a Table Captain at the Ask Event. Whether or not they serve as an Ambassador, you want as many board members as possible to attend the Ask Event (have them sit at VIP tables) just to experience it.
If you meet Benevon’s metrics for having a minimum of two Ambassador-hosted private Points of Entry per month, with each Point of Entry generating at least one new Ambassador, by the second year, you should have so many people referring others that you won’t need to rely on those same board members inviting people to Points of Entry.
In fact, you should have people so excited about your organization’s mission that they are asking how they can become one of your board members!
And those new board members, who have “come through the model” will naturally understand the relationship-based underpinnings of the model. They will likely be able to recommend other people to be Ambassadors and Point of Entry guests.
This model honors board members and always remembers, above all, that board members are volunteers who are giving you the gift of their time and expertise. The Benevon Model will help you keep them connected to their passion.