• By: RedPen
  • March 31, 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
5 Essential Elements of Board Fundraising

A board's status gives it a unique position to drive successful fundraising efforts. Consider these tips to ensure your board raises adequate resources to fund its mission.

Board fundraising enables leadership and board members to raise the capital needed to meet the goals and objectives of the organization. However, it’s not uncommon to see a board without a concrete approach to fundraising. It’s often due to a lack of awareness, or because board members fail to discuss fundraising during board meetings.

To solidify this pivotal role, here’s how to engage board members to fundraise.

What Is Board Fundraising?

Board fundraising occurs when a board takes strategic steps to raise funding to support the organization’s mission. To hit their fundraising goals, boards deploy various fundraising methods, such as:

  • Personal contributions
  • Government grants
  • Gifts and donations
  • Capital campaigns
  • Sales or disposing of assets
  • Corporate gifts and donations

5 Elements of Board Fundraising

1. Emphasize Importance of Board Fundraising

Board members may not enjoy fundraising, yet without adequate funding, the board cannot survive and thrive. Board members and other key stakeholders should take the lead on fundraising, but in some instances fail to deliver.

Why? It could be:

  • Lack of awareness and ignorance
  • Fear of rejection and embarrassment
  • They don’t know the ins and outs of board fundraising
  • Lack of proper governance and accountability
  • Unsure how to pitch to potential donors
  • An ineffective board member recruitment and onboarding process that doesn’t clearly explain the board’s role in fundraising

Fortunately, despite these shortcomings, board members can sharpen their board fundraising toolkit through:

  • Investing in a board fundraising toolkit that equips board members with training, skills, compelling pitches, and confidence to face donors and understand the fundraising process
  • Using board management software to help track donor activity
  • Creating a board participation policy that emphasizes 100% board member participation, including personal donations
  • Restructuring the board member onboarding strategy
  • Assigning roles to each board member
  • Developing an effective fundraising strategy that involves all board members and stakeholders

2. Utilize Corporate Giving to Accelerate Fundraising

Corporate giving allows businesses to donate to boards. It’s a great way to demonstrate social responsibility and boost public relations.

Corporate giving includes:

  • Matching gifts: The business matches or exceeds its employees’ donations.
  • In-kind donations: Rather than cash, a business donates items to offset financial costs.
  • Sponsorships: A company can sponsor fundraising efforts to lower costs and encourage further donations.

Before tapping into corporate giving, it’s best to have a viable strategy:

  • Solicit corporate partnerships and sponsorships
  • Acquire a corporate matching gift database
  • Maintain donor data in a fundraising software or customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Plan for non-monetary donations
  • Develop your campaign early enough to accommodate the time-pressed employees and volunteers

3. Monitor Progress Toward Fundraising Goals

While using fundraising software can ease tracking donor activity, it’s best to measure key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • Fundraising Return On Investment (ROI): This KPI highlights the total contributions as a gain or loss against the investments made toward the fundraising campaign. 
  • Online gift percentage: Shows the percentage of donations made via online platforms, such as websites and mobile devices.
  • Conversion rate: Measures the percentage of people who donated after receiving a fundraising prompt.
  • Gifts secured: Measures the gifts received over a particular period.
  • Gift matching rate: Shows the percentage of gifts and donations received through the corporate gift-matching program. 
  • Board member participation rate: Measures the percentage of board members who make personal donations.

4. Encourage Sharing via Social Media

Currently, there are 4.62 billion social media users worldwide. Take advantage of this vast pool of potential donors. Consider sharing your mission, intentions, and success stories on popular platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. 

5. Establish Fundraising Committee

Board members lead busy lives, and in many cases only meet together a couple of times per year. It can prove difficult to plan an effective fundraiser campaign.

That’s where a fundraising committee can help. This standing committee represents the board and takes the lead of establishing the board fundraising strategy. 

This board fundraising committee should:

  • Prioritize collaboration: The fundraising committee fosters collaboration with key stakeholders, such as staff and other committees to ensure the success of the fundraiser.
  • Provide oversight and represent the board across all fundraising efforts.
  • Identify potential donors and devise an engagement plan.

Manage Board Fundraising With OnBoard

No board should overlook the importance of fundraising. The board’s status gives it a unique position to drive successful fundraising efforts. Adopting these 5 elements helps to ensure your board raises adequate resources to fund its mission.

OnBoard makes it simple and easy to improve board (and committee) effectiveness, especially during important fundraising seasons. Schedule a free demo to see how our board management software can revolutionize your board’s fundraising efforts.

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