Here’s a Shocking Thought

What if your board paid for your operational costs?

I came across a charity’s website the other day that had this on their homepage:

“Your support helps protect irreplaceable places, funds expeditions to find lost species, supports cutting-edge breeding programs, and so much more. Plus, our Board of Directors covers all operational costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the field.” -Global Wildlife Conservation

What a minute…you mean it’s possible to ask your board to donate ALL of the administrative costs? Of course, it is!

That could be a rhetorical question. It’s a question that almost never gets posed though. How many of you have set your board’s give/get at the dollar amount you need for administrative costs? Have you ever considered it?

The bar has been set too low. The board members are asked to make a contribution that is significant to them. Which often leads to lower levels of giving. A lot of charities are not setting dollar goals. This also leads to a haphazard giving pattern among board members.

How could it even be possible for the board to give or get the amount of money you need for your administrative costs? It is possible if you take the time to build a strong fundraising board using these steps.

1. Don’t Let COVID Stop Your Efforts

A lot of charities put off-board development during the past year because of the pandemic. It’s time to get back in the game and focus on building a strong fundraising board. Even if you’re still struggling to find time to do everything, try to put board development near the top of your priorities for 2021.

2. Recruit the Right People to Your Board

Building a strong fundraising board starts with recruitment. The approach and methods taken to recruit board members can make a difference in how your board performs. Successful fundraising boards are built upon recruitment that is deliberate and focused. Who are the right people for your board? If you want a board that will donate and fundraise, you absolutely have to ask the right questions during the interview process. Don’t be afraid to ask potential board members if they know how to fundraise or if they’ll donate. If you dodge this question, they will dodge your requirement to give (believe me, I see it time and time again).

3. Set the Dollar Goal and Challenge Them to Achieve It

Setting the dollar goal is a key factor in achieving the results you want. If you need to raise $500,000 to cover your administrative costs, and you want the board to give/get for those funds, they need to know it! You should set your goal a few months before your fiscal year begins so they have a heads up. Now, I know this amount may sound outrageous to some. You may be saying, I can’t even get them to raise $100,000 let alone $500,000. Then go back to #2 (recruitment) and think about who’s on your board.

Do you want to build a fundraising board? Click here for more tips.