The fastest route to sanity and satisfaction when it comes to fundraising and your board members is to accept the 20-60-20 rule. That is, 20% of the board will enjoy being involved in fundraising, 60% will be neutral about it, and the remaining 20% will want nothing to do with it at all.
Here are three easy ways for every board member to participate in the fundraising process, without ever having to ask anyone for money themselves:
- Serve as Ambassadors by hosting and filling a private Point of Entry Event for ten or more guests. If your board members did nothing more than this, they would be making an enormous contribution to the future of your organization. Help them identify an existing group—like their work colleagues or book club—and choose a date and place to have it—either at your offices or their home or office. Be sure they start with a list of 20-30 in order to ensure ten guests or more in attendance.
- Thank donors for gifts. Ask your board members to telephone recent, happy individual donors just to thank them. Not all board members will want to do this, but once a few of them report at the next board meeting on how rewarding the experience was, others may offer to jump in.
- Give money themselves. You need to be able to tell your community that 100% of your board members give money personally to your organization, regardless of the amount. We do not recommend setting a minimum gift expectation for board members. If you cultivate and ask each board member individually for their gift, you will be treating each board member as if they will become your most cherished major donor, thereby abiding by the Benevon Golden Rule. Note: You may choose to make board giving a requirement, not an option.