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  • Writer's pictureRebecca J Diamond

7 Fundraising Responsibilities of Nonprofit Board Members

Nonprofit boards are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities, which includes being responsible for the financial health and sustainability of the organization. All nonprofit organizations need to fundraise in some capacity, and the board plays a vital role in supporting and contributing to fundraising activities. Here are seven responsibilities of every nonprofit board member.

1. Understand your organizations fundraising strategies and goals

Along with helping to set fundraising goals, it’s crucial that board members fully understand their fundraising strategies and how fundraising really works. Every organization raises funds differently with the three most common fundraising strategies centering around events, major donors, and grants. By understanding your organization’s specific fundraising strategies—and how profitable each strategy is—you’ll be able to help focus your attention on how to best meet your fundraising goals.

2. Identify and introduce prospective donors

One of the most common fundraising strategies is targeting individual and corporate donors. In most circumstances, board members aren’t asked to specifically solicit contributions from corporate donors, however, board members should help identify prospective donors and make introductions between them and your organization’s development team.

3. Attend events with prospects and donors

A popular way to introduce prospective donors is to invite them to attend or volunteer at your organization’s events such as auctions, golf tournaments, galas, and more. By having a prospective donor join you at your organization’s events, they’ll get to experience your organization’s mission firsthand; additionally, it sets up an easier introduction with your development team.

4. Tell your donors about your organization’s great work

In addition to bringing potential donors with you to events, board members should also be communicating with current and prospective donors about the organization’s activities. One-on-one conversations as well as updates about your organization on social media allow donors to see that their money is being put to good use and will often prompt donors to make further contributions.

5. Thank your donors

This is probably the most forgotten about step in fundraising and often the most important one. When a donor—no matter how big or how small—makes a contributions, you must appropriately thank them. Moreover, genuine thank you notes—with, at the absolute bare minimum, the correct name and a real signature—are a must. If a donor makes a financial contribution, opens the door to other prospective donors, or volunteers their time, a thank you will help go along way in them giving again. And the lack of a thank you means you might lose that donor forever.

6. Proudly make a personal gift

While thanking your donors, it’s also important for board members to open their own checkbooks to make a personal gift to their organization. Over the years, it has become more and more clear how important board giving is, and organizations should set a goal of having 100% board giving. If board members don’t financially support the nonprofit, then why should anyone else? No matter the amount given annually, each gift should be one each board member is personally proud to make in support of the organization.

7. Invest in your development staff

Fully-staffed and supported development teams raise a lot more money each year than organization’s with understaffed and underfunded fundraising operations. It often costs money to make money, and by investing in a first-class development team, you should see your investment return at great rates. Different development groups have different needs so talk to your fundraisers about their specific needs to be successful.

What other fundraising responsibilities do you have as a nonprofit board member?

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