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help your BOARD help you

In an ideal world, your board members would be able to connect you to major donors, corporate CEOs and presidents of highly sought-after foundations, but even if that’s not the case, there are still many ways they can be productively engaged in fundraising.

The first step toward more meaningful engagement is to make certain that the board understands what you’re offering to new prospects. They will have already seen presentations by your organization’s senior executives and program leaders, but it is also important for them to see the organizations’ work through the eyes of the next potential funder.

The board must also understand which targets are on your prospecting list and, most importantly, why they are on that list.

Explain the solicitation cycle and identify possible leverage points for board member participation. This will help them to visualize their productive involvement leading up to the ask. 

For example, invite your board members to think about who they know in the corporate world with the following questions in mind: and success. 

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“Could your contact give us some feedback on our understanding of the company’s overall strategy and CSR goals?”
In the early stages of development, your board members personal contact might be immensely helpful in providing much-needed context for the published corporate strategy information (with which your fundraising team should already be familiar).  They may also be willing to introduce you to the right people at the right time.

 

“Would your contact be willing to critique our vision for this cause partnership?”
Once you’ve developed a specific development plan for a prospect, getting some candid feedback from a senior corporate leader can help sharpen your vision and prepare you for discussions with the CSR decision-makers.

 

“After the gift, could you personally join me in a meeting to show our appreciation for their commitment?”
Reinforcing the significance of a donor’s gift is essential to nurturing their partnership with you.  It is also the “fun part” for board members, so don’t overlook opportunities to engage them in this important step. The direct involvement of a board member in stewardship also sends an important message to the donor while providing them with a valuable board-level contact at your organization.

Focal Point Philanthropy Advisors is well positioned to help you reframe the fundraising discussion with your board and development team, setting both up for more realistic engagement and success.

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