By Andrea McManus, CFRE
Tip #3 for engaging your board in fundraising is to know why your board members are on your board and use that information to their and your organization’s benefit.
Board members are busy people, which is exactly why we want them on our boards, but they have joined the board for a reason. It is useful to give regular opportunities for board members to share why they are on your board. Whether you do this in retreat introductions or by asking one or two board members per regular meeting, give board members the opportunity to tell why they care enough to be sitting here today.
Of course the common factor is a belief in and passion for the cause but in addition I want to know what else drew them to board service. Perhaps it is a professional career booster, or providing networking opportunities, or pushing the leadership envelope by gaining different skill sets they can use in the workplace. I always like to find out what that reason is because I figure if I know that, then I can be far more effective in encouraging their engagement in a way that is both comfortable for them, meets their own personal needs and maximizes their individual strengths. You do not always get influence, affluence and passion in equal doses in one package so understanding what drives a board member will help you to align their needs with the organization’s fundraising needs.
More to come in future installments of ….the fundraising beat…