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Via 7 Easiest Ways Nonprofit Board Members and Volunteers Can Raise Money for You – Double the Donation.
One of the questions we receive on a regular basis is how nonprofits can ensure board members and volunteers are raising money for their organizations.
I was having a conversation with Dan Quirk from DonorPro, a leading provider of cloud-based nonprofit software, about this exact topic and asked if he was interested in sharing his expertise. He graciously offered to write the following article for Double the Donation’s blog.
According to a Grant Thornton LLP Survey in 2012, only 23% of nonprofits specify an annual minimum donation for their board members…this statistic got me thinking… Are their other easy revenue generating activities that are being left on the table by nonprofits? And if so, what are they?
Development directors and nonprofit executives usually bear the burden of all fundraising activities at most community-based organizations. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s time for you development directors take the pressure off of yourself and your development team to do all of the fundraising and take advantage of other revenue opportunities that are right in front of you.
We’ve compiled six easy ways that you can turn your board members and volunteers into fundraisers just by taking advantage of relationships and modern online fundraising tools. It doesn’t take completely overhauling your strategy or changing your organizational structure and at least three of these ideas can be implemented immediately.
1) Matching Gift Programs
Your Volunteers and especially your Board Members are most likely influential players in their respective companies and it’s time they start using their leverage to move the needle for your cause. What if all of your volunteers and each member of your board or advisory team asked their employer to consider matching their contributions next year. Big corporations and even medium/small businesses would certainly consider participating in a matching gift program if they don’t already, and your nonprofit would benefit! Encourage these constituents to look into Employer Matching Gifts and most importantly, have the software tools in place to handle matching gifts!
2) Contests with Peer to Peer Fundraising Pages
A fun, way to get volunteers engaged (beyond just their time and tangible contributions) is by holding quarterly volunteer fundraising contests with attractive prizes for winners. First, support these contests with a peer-to-peer fundraising platform so that each volunteer can have their own online fundraising page. Then, encourage them to ask their friends and family members to visit the page, learn about your nonprofit, and GIVE! Peer to peer fundraising platforms are generally inexpensive and can yield substantial results when participants friendly contests turn into heated competitions!
3) Minimum Annual Donations for Board Member
Minimum annual donation requirements are commonplace for only about a quarter of US-based nonprofits. This is a huge missed opportunity. Minimum annual donation requirements do three things. 1) Ensures your nonprofit of x dollars of revenue each year. 2) Board Members care more since their dollars are at work. 3) Setting a healthy minimum annual donation specification can lead to more qualified, executive level board members joining who have a network of wealthy donors that can be tapped into as well. Read this article to see how Chicago Academy for the Arts grew trustee fundraising rates from 5% to 70%.
4) Hosting a Fundraiser
Who said this classic political fundraising tactic can’t be used to benefit your cause too? Ask one of your well-connected board members to host a fundraiser at his/her house. Cater dinner, bring in some entertainment, and let your board member do the inviting… This is just another way to access that network of wealthy friends, neighbors and relatives.
5) Voices in the Community
How can you expect your volunteers to sell your nonprofit’s cause on their own? They need training just like everyone else. After recruiting and attracting your volunteers using these 4 Can’t Beat Email Subject Lines, provide your volunteers with marketing collateral and a day of free training so that they can be voices in the community sharing your mission in a clear and compelling way!
6) Dollars for Doers
Did you know many companies provide grants to nonprofits where their employees volunteer on a regular basis? It’s true. These programs called Dollars for Doers are another way companies support the organizations which employees care about.
These programs are structured where after an employee volunteers for X number of hours (say 25 hours), he or she can request a grant worth about $10 per volunteer hour. Of course guidelines vary by company but you can get a feel for how Dollars for Doers programs are structured by checking out this list of popular Dollars for Doers programs.
With all the work your board and volunteers are doing on your behalf, the best way to keep it going is by publicly recognizing their efforts and achievements. The NonProfit Times highlights 10 Ways to recognize Board Members including writing a feature story in a monthly e-newsletter, publicly introducing board members at special events, and nominate them for community leadership awards.