In AAM’s January/February 2018 issue of Museum, they shared insider tips on how museum CEOs and board chairs can work together to optimize their fundraising capability. Read on to learn how to increase your fundraising efficiency and improve the bond between your trustees, board chair, and leadership team!
Giving Feels Good
“Eliminate any messages that fundraising is onerous or distasteful.”
Many board members feel squeamish about asking for money, but the first thing to realize is that people like to give to organizations they support! Making a donation makes people feel invested in the values and mission of the organization.
Start with the Board Campaign
“Give generously, and do it early.”
Even if your organization doesn’t require board members to make a donation, it’s still a good idea to hold a round of internal fundraising efforts at the beginning of the fiscal year. Board members who give will feel a personal investment and are more likely to invite people from their network to contribute. Set up a board campaign as the first stage in annual fundraising: it’s a good excuse to celebrate, it raises confidence among the board members, and it inspires everyone to move onto the next steps!
Leveraging the Board in External Fundraising
“Relationships are key to successful fundraising.”
It’s not worth it to ask: “Who do you know?” According to Museum, that question will only elicit deafening silence! Instead, ask board members to identify their networks, including their neighborhood, civic organizations, social clubs, business associates, and more. Compare the networks, put together a prospect list, and invite each prospect on an exclusive museum experience, like a private tour! And don’t forget to say thank you: after receiving a donation, you could provide stationary for the board members to write their own notes of appreciation!
The CEO-Board Partnership
“As CEOs tackle the challenges of leading a complex enterprise, they need a strong partnership with the board chair.”
Both the CEO and the board have vital functions in any organization, and the board-chair is the link between the two. But just try asking for volunteers to chair a committee–you’re probably not going to have any takers! Many board members misunderstand the function of a development committee, when in fact that committee is responsible for the institution’s financial health, and everyone should play a role.
Engaging your board members beyond fundraising is also important to ensuring the organization’s success and the board members’ engagement with their roles. One way to do this is to create small task forces to tackle individual problems and projects. This allows board members to leverage their unique experiences and areas of expertise to the advantage of your organization!
Non-profit organizations are steered by so many dedicated individuals whose roles need to fit together like puzzle pieces to ensure that your organization runs smoothly and maximizes your fundraising potential! These tips from Museum will help make sure that your organization is on the right track to soar to new heights of fundraising success!