This article concludes
a series of Premium articles that ran in June and July 2011 issues of Canadian
Fundraising & Philanthropy
, the core publication of Hilborn's Premium Leadership Service. The tips come from Kevin Strickland, president of
the Not for Profit Group.
How do I help
directors cope with their fear of rejection when asking for gifts?
Face the possibility head-on, says Strickland. Prepare your
board members for the most common excuses and objections by giving them
scripted responses for each.
And don't set them up for failure by expecting them to ask
strangers for support over the phone. "The best use of the telephone is for
gaining a face-to-face appointment, not for asking someone to give," he
How do we set high fundraising
expectations for new members when current board members aren't pulling their
Strickland advocates early education about the role you
expect board members to play. "Remember," he notes, "you cannot set
expectations for someone unless you have a clear, defined, written development
process." With something on paper, it's much easier to define their role
How do we motivate
and inspire our current board members to participate actively in development?
Here, Strickland says, you need to be very clear about what
you mean. Inspiration isn't the same thing as motivation.
Inspiration is short-lived - like signing up for an exercise
program or taking on a New Year's resolution. That excitement is good, but it
doesn't get the work done.
Motivation, on the other hand, gets the job done. Your board
members need to understand where they are to go and how to get there. According
to Strickland, it all comes back to defining the fundraising role for your
directors, directing them clearly, giving them immediate feedback and
recognizing their performance.
What if our board
members claim they have limited spheres of influence?
Strickland believes that often your directors will know more
people than they realize (or perhaps more than they feel like sharing with
you). Is their claim just a smoke screen, he wonders, to avoid fundraising responsibilities
in the first place? Here's how he would test that.
"Explain to the board that to ‘jump-start the development
process,' you are requesting they assist in helping identify those in the
community who might be interested in assisting the organization," he counsels.
First, ask them to list the characteristics of people who
would want to support the organization. Then ask each director to list as many
people as they can who match that profile. Tell them you want at least ten
names each, including people they know. Both you and your directors may be
surprised at how long that list becomes.
But if you don't generate a suitable list - if your
directors really are limited in their networks, then together you have to
assess the role of board members. Provided you stand ready to provide the
skills training, the only remaining problem is the board's inability or
unwillingness to contribute meaningfully to fund development. It's time for a
candid discussion about what that means for the current membership of the board
and for the well-being of the organization.Would more information like this (plus the mammoth 20-chapter Excellence in Fundraising in Canada help you raise more money and ramp up your career path? And would you like Excellence in Fundraising in Canada completely FREE? Use the discount code EXFREE - Join now!