Enjoyed a great morning with the talented members of Fundraising Executives of Metro Louisville discussing "Leading From Within: Authentic #leadership as Vision's Ally." So many talented leaders in this group!
“A good Board is a victory, not a gift.”
– Cyril Houle, Governing Boards
Good boards, like victories, rarely come together by chance. Rather, they are the product of shared commitment to the mission (and to each other), thoughtful planning, and critical processes. Among their many responsibilities, board members are charged with ensuring the organization has the resources necessary to accomplish the mission. For many board members, fundraising is the broccoli in their entree of responsibilities — that part of the meal we know is good for us, but we would just as soon avoid (apologies to all the broccoli fans).
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible for even the most reluctant boards to develop a team culture that embraces fundraising as an essential ingredient in mission success. Here are a few key steps to help transform your board into a championship fundraising team:
CLICK HERE to read the rest of my blog article published by Bloomerang.
This guest blog is written by Simone Olive, Development Consultant at Simone Olive Consulting. To learn more about Simone, visit: www.simoneoliveconsulting.com.
There is so much that we don’t know about the people we interact with each day. We don’t know why that person cut us off in traffic this morning, and we don’t know why our neighbor has decided to let their lawn go and let it turn into a weed jungle. We don’t know what we don’t know – but is that an excuse or is it an opportunity to simply ask “why?”
As a nonprofit professional – or as any kind of professional – it’s within your laundry list of responsibilities to dig deeper and cultivate your people – your donors, your volunteers, your staff, your partners, your people. Why? Because without time dedicated to building a genuine relationship with your people you’re missing out on the opportunity to establish sustainability – and who doesn’t want that!? In nonprofit development sustainability is your holy grail, your touchdown, your goal – and it’s not unobtainable but it does take dedicated time and patience.
So, here are three simple actions you can implement today to start cultivating your Top 3 People and building your foundation for sustainability:
• This sounds simple, and it is. Block out an hour in your week – make it this week – for you to call the Top 3 People that embody your organization’s mission and are passionate about your work. Think outside of the box when deciding what three people you’ll call. They people can be volunteers, Board Members, clients, or even community partners.
• Ask if they are available to meet with you in an informal space, so you can learn more about their connection to your organization. Be prepared with three different days and times when scheduling.
• The goal of this meeting is to learn more about them and what part of your organization resonates with them. When it comes time to meet with them be ready to LISTEN to them – don’t get this twisted with just hearing them. Ask you questions and keep your I statements to a minimum.
Ask For Advice, It’s Ok
• Keep your relationship alive with your Top 3 by setting up a secondary date for coffee/wine so you can ask them for their advice.
• Be prepared to share at least two current roadblocks you’re experiencing – nothing is off limits here. You could be having trouble filling your event committee, or you could need help finding new Board Members. Whatever you decide to discuss, be prepared to answer hard questions and easy questions.
Don’t Skip The Holidays
• In between your meetings with your Top 3 don’t let your more than a month pass without connecting with them.
• A simple way to do this is by mailing holiday cards; Christmas cards, Thanksgiving cards, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day. All of these holidays are opportunities for you to interact with your people without asking them for something.
• Try to make it a personal as possible, your cards could be home made or could simply include a personal note.
• Consider sending cards to more than your Top 3, maybe your Top 10 or Top 20. You never know whom a simple card will touch.
Make time to see these three actions through and don’t skimp on them. Make them a recurring task in your calendar and take notes on your conversations. After about 6 months take time to evaluate – are these people still your Top 3? What new ways can you interact with your Top 3 that doesn’t involve asking them for money?
The key to cultivation is balancing engagement opportunities that ask for monetary support with opportunities that ask for someone’s time and expertise – aka, their most valuable means of support. These three cultivation actions will help you build that framework you’ll need to ensure your organization’s mission continues to make an impact.
So go forth, start with these three actions and be open to the opportunities that will unfold.
I just finished reading the article linked below and it got me thinking about the best and worst staff retreat experiences I have had -- and there have been a few of both! :)
A nonprofit staff retreat can be a great way to bring your team together, inspire generative or strategic thinking, and re-energize as a group. Has it been a while since your last staff retreat? If so, please reach out and let's chat about how to plan a thoughtful gathering for you and your team.
General operating support grants allow nonprofits to target resources where they are most needed and will be most impactful. Lots of great info in this article from a foundation that has learned that general operating support grants enhance effectiveness and impact while building deeper relationships.
“Now that every one of our grants is for general operating support, we see the depth in which we are able to learn from our grantees. We also see the successes that come when organizations feel trusted and have the flexibility to make decisions on how to best fulfill their mission at any given time.“
Welcome to the blog for Nielsen Training & Consulting, LLC. Check this page frequently, where I will be sharing latest news, articles of interest for nonprofit leaders, and other helpful resources.