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14 Ways Your Board Members Can Help You Raise More Money By Mal Warwick Copyright © 2004 by Mal Warwick

(1) They can—and should—all give generous annual gifts consistent with their means. Every nonprofit organization should strive for 100% board participation to demonstrate its commitment to institutional donors as well as other individuals (2) Either alone, in teams, or together with key staff members, they can ask donors and prospects face-to-face to make gifts in amounts similar to their own. Board members are typically an organization’s most credible and effective solicitors. (3) They can personally invite colleagues, friends, and family members to attend special events, whether fundraisers or cultivation opportunities. Board members are often recruited because of their wide influence, and this is one of the most effective ways to capitalize on their contacts. (4) They can supply names and contact information for donor prospects and help evaluate essential information about them, such as financial means, giving history, philanthropic interests, and ways to gain access to them. (5) They can write letters of support or make phone calls to key decision-makers to back up staff-written grant proposals to foundations, corporations, or government agencies. (6) They can hand-write personal notes on fundraising appeals to selected donors and prospects. (7) They can write thank-you notes or make phone calls to express appreciation for major gifts. (8) They can either speak or introduce others from your organization to speak at breakfasts or luncheons held by their clubs, civic groups, or business associations. (9) They can—and should—gain a thorough understanding of your organization's budget. To understand why you need funds so urgently, and to feel more confident when they're asked questions, they need to know how revenues are raised and how the organization uses the contributions it receives (10)

They can participate actively in efforts to cultivate major donors and prospects.


(11) They can invite family members, friends, and colleagues to intimate events in their homes, helping you acquaint them with your organization in an informal setting. (12) They can play a leadership role in declaring their intention to include your organization in their estate plans. (13) Your Board members can invite colleagues, friends, and family members to accompany them—or you—on tours of your facilities as a way to begin or sustain the process of cultivating them as potential donors. (14) Knowing which of their friends or family members might be especially interested in some aspect of your work, they might invite them to special briefings with your chief executive or a program officer, addressing what your organization has accomplished in that field.


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