As you build the perfect nonprofit board of trustees, it can be challenging to know exactly who to look for or how to utilize their enthusiasm. One of the most important aspects of you board’s participation in the nonprofit organization is the connections they have, and how they can mobilize those connections to help your mission move forward in the communities you serve.
Choose Board Members Carefully
You want board members for many reasons: their experience in a similar field, the new ground they allow you to cover as an organization, their passion for the work, or their proven track record as a member of other boards. At the same time, you want the chance to evaluate their networks: if they begin fundraising now, how much money do they have access to from willing “peers.” Whether your board members are familiar with peer-to-peer fundraising or not, they behave as peer fundraisers if they run in important circles. P2P fundraising has become popular in contexts where friends and family “sponsor” someone who is raising money for a cause. You want to think about your new board members for all their many facets but also for the other people that they could introduce to your nonprofit over time.
Train Board Members on Potential Methods of Impact
Many new board members may not know exactly how they can be of use to the organization. You can certainly let the board set their own agenda, and with great results, but another option is to actually explain some of the ways that board members can be helpful to your cause. This may include creative methods of fundraising from corporate donors, asking friends and family to create monthly pledges, and sharing contact information for businesses who could help with cost-saving measures for the nonprofit.
There will be some board members who have to warm up to the idea of fundraising, so offer them a variety of options, including volunteering to get to know those the nonprofit serves. Find ways that either directly add value to your nonprofit, increasing your reach, or build rapport between board members, volunteers, and nonprofit staff, tightening the community of your organization.
Ask Early to Have Board Participation in Flagship Fundraisers
Whenever you have an idea about a major fundraiser, ask the board to be helpful early on! While the staff of the nonprofit may conduct much of the logistics, you can often rely on the board to sell fundraiser tickets, find sponsorships, and get a much wider pool of people involved. The biggest key, though, is sharing as much information with them as possible early, since board members tend to be quite busy.
Get Them Familiar With Giving Methods
Having a frustrating or circuitous method for fundraising can create bad records and turn the board against fundraising over time, so one great method for getting them involved long-term is to teach the board about a secure fundraising platform. Process Donation in particular has options for peer-to-peer fundraising and can help keep the nonprofit organized and everyone on the same page. Contact us for a demo that will wow your board and continue your efforts to streamline processes and serve your communities.