Q: How am I going to convince my board that asking is okay at these Multiple-Year Giving Society pledge levels?
Katherine in California
A: As veterans of many fundraising events, most board members presume their guests will be pressured to give at the Ask Event. They presume this event will be the first time a guest learns about your organization and therefore they rightly fear that asking for these “large amounts” will be off-putting.
Once your board members understand that all the Table Captains at the Ask Event will have served as Ambassadors, hosting and filling their own private Point of Entry Event with ten or more guests, and that these prior Point of Entry guests will be the same people they invite to sit at their tables at your Free One-Hour Ask Event, they will begin to see how different this event is.
We recommend you let these skeptical board members observe and enjoy your first Ask Event, and they will come along at their own pace.
If you focus on having privately hosted Points of Entry, you will naturally meet our metric for having 10% of your Ask Event guests give at one of the three larger multi-year levels. The fourth box on the pledge card lets donors fill in the blanks for their own gift level. We only expect 40 to 50% of Ask Event guests to make any gift at all at the event.
For those board members who do not want to participate in the process, invite them to the Ask Event, seat them with other board members or friends and let them be a part of the whole experience. Do not ask them to be Table Captains.
If your event follows the Benevon Model, your board members will be so proud of your organization, they will likely become supporters of this process and volunteer to serve as Ambassadors over the next year.
Remember our golden rule about treating board members as if they are your most cherished major donors. You would never force your most cherished major donors to do anything. Let them determine their own preferred form of participation.