I know … you’ve told them countless times. You have given them the elevator speech. They have a brochure to distribute. But somehow they just don’t do anything.
So let’s think about what might really help them be better board members. Here are 3 easy steps you can use to build their capacity to talk with prospects and donors.
“Can you name the 5 largest gifts we received last year from living donors and the amount of the gifts? No grants and no estate gifts.”
Pretty important stuff, and your board members should know it. It gives them a range of the “big gifts” you receive. And it reminds them to say thanks if they know the folks.
“Can you name 5 people who have made a contribution to our organization for at least 5 years?”
Remember, if you are working on endowment gifts to secure your future, your best prospects are your current donors. Especially those that have been regular donors for multiple years. And your board members need to know who some of them are so they can discuss your long-term sustainability plans.
“Can you tell 3 stories about the work your organization does? They could be about how your program helps participants, the results for a typical participant or the feedback that you have had for your work”
Stories are simply the best way to talk about your organization. Not statistics. Not overwhelming needs. And not you describing how effective you are. That message needs to come through the voice of real people, but you don’t need to use their real names.
Questions like these should lead to board discussions of growth history and plans. You can’t plan the future if you don’t know what got you to where you are today.
For more nonprofit administration and management tips, as well as nonprofit funding and endowment development, subscribe to Endowment Development Institute's Newsletter here.