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Engaging Your Board in the Benevon Process

“I’ll do anything to help you—except fundraising!”

How often have you heard this from a board member? Most board members have been around the block a time or two and they presume “fundraising” refers to what Benevon calls “strong-arming the Rolodex.”

Staff must tell board members, from the outset, that there is no requirement in our model for any board member to ever ask anyone for money.

The permission-based Benevon Model suggests three roles for board members. Each of these roles is entirely optional and honors your board members’ commitment to your mission:

  1. Serve as an Ambassador by hosting a private Point of Entry Event for a group of ten or more friends or colleagues. Once your board members have attended your sizzling Point of Entry Event, they will this powerful one-hour event to educate and inspire people, without ever talking about fundraising. ‌‌

    ‌If your board members did nothing more than host one Point of Entry Event each year, they would have made an enormous contribution to the future of the organization.
  2. Thank your recent happy donors. Give board members a list of individual donors from the prior month to call and thank. Leaving a voicemail message is permissible. It won’t take long for board members to realize the positive impression this call makes on each donor who may never have received any personal communication from the organization, let alone from a board member!

    ‌Again, not all board members will want to do this, but once a few members report on the experience at the next monthly board meeting, others may offer to jump in.
  3. Give money themselves. It will come as no surprise to you or your board that your funders and donors will assume that everyone on the board makes an annual financial contribution. While there is no prescribed amount expected in our model, 100% board giving is a requirement.

    ‌Once you have established your Multiple-Year Giving Society, these will be the same levels you can suggest to your board members, without pressuring them in any way to give at any level.

    ‌The more your board members can experience the permission-based power of the Benevon Model firsthand, the more readily they will introduce others and get more involved themselves. Soon they will be thanking you and saying “this has helped me remember why I got involved with this organization in the first place. It makes me proud to be a board member here.”