For fundraising leaders, board members are more than strategic leaders, they’re also incredibly influential donors – who often have a hand in fundraising themselves. But, it’s no secret that soliciting and collecting gifts from board members can be a delicate process.
In this post, we’ll cover how to confirm board member commitments, ensure giving occurs on time, and remove any awkwardness or unnecessary tension from these important relationships.
First, it’s worth mentioning that board giving is not reserved for just the board of directors. Securing giving intent and collection applies to all types of boards, large and small, including your foundation board, alumni boards, parent advisory boards, reunion committees, community outreach boards, volunteer boards, department or division boards – any governing body your organization uses to operate and fulfill your mission.
When should I talk to board members about annual giving?
Most organizations do an amazing job of setting expectations early, while a board member is still being recruited. This allows them to make an informed decision on joining the board and understand any financial contributions as a donor. Your goal as a fundraising leader is to secure a regular annual gift for each year of the board member’s tenure. If this has proven difficult with a particular board member, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a discussion at the beginning or end of a fiscal year, or when your annual solicitation cycle begins.
How to confirm annual giving from board members
During your board member’s orientation, it’s best to present them with a multi-year gift commitment. And, as you’ll see below when you use a Digital Gift Agreement to confirm their multi-year gift, a simple click seals the deal and sets up follow-through automation that helps with each step in the multi-year giving process.
When you have this conversation with your donor, it’s important to explain why you are asking for a multi-year commitment and how that gift will be applied toward your organization’s goals.
How to ensure board members give on time
When you use a Digital Gift Agreement from Givzey to confirm your board member’s multi-year gift, we automate pledge reminders that go directly to their email. A single click is all it takes to pay.
**TIP** Because automated pledge reminders are customizable, they can be set to go out at any time. This means that if you have a special initiative to secure all board gifts early in the year, you can choose to send those reminders in January.
How to maintain professional relationships with board members while soliciting gifts
Something isn’t right if your board members or fundraisers ever feel like a relationship is transactional. That’s why Givzey takes gift collection out of the fundraiser-board member relationship. Your board members are some of the best-intentioned people when it comes to your cause. However, based on their leadership status, they’re also likely to be some of the busiest people you work with. Board members appreciate dealing with their annual gift like it’s an invoice, leaving your fundraisers to keep their touchpoints about the relationship and building the future of your organization.
It’s likely that you have many different types of boards within your organization, each with very distinct giving levels that could range from $100 to $10,000 or more. Regardless of the size of the gift, securing consecutive gifts over the span of a board member’s tenure should be a simple process that illustrates a professional and personal touch.