1. Build a culture of philanthropy:
Rally excitement about your organization’s mission and vision from the top to the bottom. Get everyone excited and informed about your priorities. Create an environment where all ideas are valued and respected and everyone contributes to fundraising, no matter their role.

2. Right message, right method
Communicate with your board members clearly and frequently and in the way they choose. Listening to and using their preferences for communication will maximize their involvement.

3. Be honest and open about expectations:
Prepare job descriptions for board members prior to recruiting them. For already established board members, work together to prepare job descriptions. Make clear your expectations for their individual philanthropy.

4. Form a development committee:
A development committee is key to guiding your fundraising work. Use your committee members’ spheres of influence to lead the process and alleviate some responsibility for your development office.

5. Break it down into “bite-sized” chunks:
Break down each task so that board members can select assignments that are manageable and clearly articulated with expectations for completion.

6. Provide Training: Who, How, When
Make fundraising easier for your board members by providing training for solicitations. Get them involved in how to decide who is asked, how much they are asked for, and when they are asked. Give them confidence in the process by engaging them.

7. Provide tools: brochures, case statement, pledge forms (letters of intent)
Give the board members all of the tools that you have including case statement, brochures, and letters of intent. Create packets of information for each ask including the potential donor’s bio, giving history, interests, and any other background information.

8. Process for follow-up and sharing of information:
Make sure that your board members know how to share information with your office. Regular follow-up is important.

9. Use board members to widen your access and build name recognition:
Board members have their own networks – use them! Their contacts are invaluable as you work to expand your vision and outreach in the community.

10. Use boards for stewardship:
Fundraising can be draining to your board members—use them to say thank you to your donors. Stewardship is a way to re-energize them and give them an opportunity to share in the excitement of your results.

Article written by: Maggie Rauck, Campaign Consultant and Courtney Brady, Assistant VP for Operations and Strategic Planning

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The generous will prosper: those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:25)

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