Personalizing the donor experience with your board
While it may be hard to believe with the muggy, above average temperatures that have swept across the U.S., fundraising season is right around the corner. Yup, that’s right, soon, the kids will be back to school on those crisp autumn mornings. And we all know just how important it is for a nonprofit’s board of directors to be engaged in fundraising. Yet, development directors and executive directors still struggle to get board member buy-in. Instead of pressuring your board to be active in the solicitation process, consider how they can help to personalize the donor experience.
Here are a few simple ways you can involve your board in this year’s fall appeal that won’t scare them into resignation.
- Ask them to provide the names and addresses of 10 friends who they believe may support your cause. Ask them to write a personal note on each letter before popping it in the mail.
- Present the idea of a board-funded donor challenge. Yes, we see these donor challenges all the time. And there’s a reason for that. They work! Donor challenges are especially successful when they’re backed by members of the board.
- Share the link to your organization’s online donation page or GiveMN page. Encourage board members to share the links on their own social media spaces with a personal message about why they support your cause.
- Put together a boilerplate e-mail board members can personalize and send to their friends. Even better, provide a link to a compelling YouTube video that shows your work in action.
- Request 3-4 board members to be designated “thankers.” Each board member takes a week, and makes a personal thank you call to EVERY donor who makes a gift within that week. Make sure the callers jot down notes from their conversations to be entered in your database for future use.
- For those painfully shy folks, hand-writing thank you cards is always a worthwhile task.
While these are fairly in-direct activities, they can be quite meaningful and rewarding for both donors and board members. Start small. Encourage the individual creativity of your members. Get them comfortable with one task, then move on to the next. Finally, find ways to make the process fun for everyone involved.
Now that isn’t so painful, is it?
How does your board engage in fundraising?