Great board members are always great at asking for money, right? No! You can be a great board member even if you never ask for a penny. What’s more, you can still fulfill your fiduciary duty to help ensure the organization’s financial sustainability.
You care about your personal relationships and don’t want to treat your friends like ATMs, make cold calls, or get into a ridiculous cycle with a group of colleagues who, in turn, hit you up for all the charities that they are involved in. Your thoughtfulness makes you an even more valuable part of your board.
You may also be saying you don’t want to get rejected. I understand; I am so attached to WARM’s mission that it hurt to hear “no” at first.
So, don’t ask for money.
Instead, share from your heart. Nonprofits and the people we serve need you to tell your friends and colleagues about the mission as if you were talking about a great restaurant. Describe the experience and what it means to you. Your personal endorsement means more than a well-designed brochure or an advertisement in their favorite magazine. If it sounds good to them, they may want to try it, too!
Let me stop here and make a recommendation.
If you do not love the mission of your nonprofit more than your last great restaurant experience, you may be on the wrong board. First, try reconnecting with the mission by volunteering with one of the programs if you don’t already do that regularly. If it really doesn’t move your heart, I bet there is a cause out there that will. Find it and let it move you!
The world doesn’t need more asking. The world, your corner of the world, needs more board members inspiring others and building the reputations of life-changing organizations. The fundraising cycle includes a lot more activities than asking. We tell the story, build relationships, and appreciate our wonderful supporters. Asking is a tiny – but critical! – part. There is a lot more to do and here are some tips to help get it done:
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