Monday Mixtape 013: Board Fundraising Best Practices
Here’s your Monday Mixtape, a weekly newsletter from CauseVox designed to jumpstart your week, challenge your thinking, and inspire you to keep at it.
Each week, we’ll hand-pick must-read articles, thinking, resources, and stories for nonprofit fundraisers and leaders and drop it in your inbox. Have suggestions or questions? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy this week’s Mixtape!
Have you ever wished you could wave a magic wand at your board of directors, and transform them into enthusiastic fundraisers?
Yeah, me, too.
Board members can be an absolute asset to nonprofit fundraising, bringing connections and donations in from all corners of their personal and professional lives. They can build relationships for your organization and act as passionate advocates for your cause.
If the above paragraph made you roll your eyes, and shout, “My board can’t even stick to an agenda!” I feel you. Time to re-examine the potential of your board.
Here’s this week’s mix:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Track #1: Building Successful Nonprofit Boards by Elmira Bayrasli at Forbes
This piece has two immediate benefits: Great advice from board expert Lucy Marcus, and a different approach that speaks directly to business-minded board members, so they take it seriously.
Forbes features Marcus’ tips for building good boards. (If you’re in a big hurry, they’re at the bottom, skip right to them). I really liked the emphasis on building a board that suits your unique nonprofit’s needs, and the non-monetary benefits board members can bring an organization, like mentoring and professional skills.
Track #2: How To Get Your Nonprofit’s Board Involved In Donor Relations by Tina Jepson at CauseVox
If your board is full of people who hate asking for money, all is not lost. You don’t need to strong-arm them into direct fundraising for them to be truly helpful. Instead, pull them into donor relations.
From thank you calls to appreciation events, Tina has tips for involving board members throughout the donor engagement cycle. They can be active participants without asking anyone for a dime. (Side benefit: For a lot of board members, the more involved they are with the process, the less scary asking for money becomes. Some of your diehard “I won’t askers” may eventually surprise you.)
With CauseVox you get more than a tool. We combine the best fundraising platform for small teams at nonprofits with comprehensive resources and an experienced team dedicated to helping you succeed.
As part of this commitment, we just released The Complete Guide To Fully Leveraging Your Board, a step-by-step guide and index of best practices that will help you activate and rally your board.
Track #3: How To Build a Better Board and Staff Relationship by Lyndsey Hrabik at Nonprofit Hub
It’s not unusual for boards and staffs to have somewhat dysfunctional relationships, but Lyndsey’s piece gives us better things to do than whine about it. She’s got concrete actions to take, reasons to prioritize communication and clarity, and conversation starters to get boards and staffs talking.
I think these tips are just as useful for deepening good staff and board relationships as they are improving lackluster ones, so there’s something for everybody.
Track #4: Five Ways To Equip Your Board To Be Year-End Fundraising Superstars by Megan Donahue at CauseVox
This piece is about year-end fundraising, but the tips and tricks are applicable to any fundraising campaign. One of the big things it’s easy for fundraising professionals to forget is that most people aren’t exactly sure how to ask for money for a cause. Wishing your board would fundraise won’t get you very far, but giving them tools and education can help make the magic happen.
By The Way…
We’re growing our team at CauseVox!
Since 2010, we’ve been helping leaders at nonprofits and social good entrepreneurs simplify and grow their fundraising. We’re a small bootstrapped team (woohoo no VCs) that has grown very quickly. And we’re looking to find someone to help us serve our next 1000 nonprofit customers.
If you (or someone you know) believe in the power of community and are eager to help nonprofit leaders simplify and grow their fundraising this may be an opportunity for you!
Thanks for reading!
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P.S. Questions about this week’s mix? Suggestions for next week? Don’t leave me in the dark. Let me know by emailing me at email@example.com.