How to Make Multi-Year Giving Easy For Your Board Members
Board members are some of your most unique donors. Even within the distinction of being "on the board," there are so many different types of board members. We have our board of directors – of course, perhaps advisory board members, fundraising board members, volunteer board members, young alumni board members, and on, and on. Board members are invested in your organization in ways others aren't and each of these relationships needs special care and attention.
In addition to their duties to run your organization, board members also have fiscal responsibilities. Most organizations will set a minimum commitment for board members that align with their term, or individually work with board members to make gifts that are meaningful to them each year. However, a quick Google search for "board member giving" shows you that there are many organizations out there trying to figure out strategies for how to get board members to pay.
Organizations often do a delicate dance around this topic, but it doesn't have to be difficult. In this post, we'll look at how to systematically avoid awkwardness, set expectations, get commitments from, and make it easy for your board members to follow through with their gifts on time.
Why is it an issue to get Board Members to Give?
Consider who your board members are. They are typically highly intelligent and successful people with families, careers, and communities. Their stature and expertise typically come with very demanding full-time jobs. Simply put, they're busy people. They can forget and are often mortified when the Chief Development Officer or Executive Director has to have an awkward discussion about getting their gift in on time (which may involve complex transactions or liquidating assets).
Tip: Digital Gift Agreements help you avoid these situations with automated reminders that gently nudge board members about their gift and when it's due.
Another consideration is that sometimes expectations aren't set well at the beginning of a board member's term. Do they have a proper foundation to know what's expected of them? Have you turned a verbal commitment into a formalized agreement for giving?
Tip: Digital Gift Agreements empower board members to formalize their annual gift commitment for the entire length of their term in a single click, a process that easily fits into onboarding/orientation.
Board Relationships Are Unique
A conversation with a board member isn't as simple as asking for their annual gift. It's layered, it's deep, it's a real relationship. Board members are committed to your cause, they know more than most, and have questions and ideas – perhaps they're even collaborating with you on a project or initiative. You can't just pick up the phone and ask them for their gift without diving into some of the other conversations that are on the table. These conversations are nuanced and take time – doing it 25+ times over is a lot of work for fundraisers.
Additionally, depending on which board your member sits on, their tenure, and other attributes, your ask to them may be very different from the last board member you spoke to.
Tip: Keep your conversations with board members from being transactional. Digital Gift Agreements create a better donor experience for board members by delivering gift reminders directly to their inboxes, where they can choose their preferred payment method.
Help your board members do what they intended to do – lead change in the community. Digital Gift Agreements help you set foundational expectations, align board terms with multi-year giving, avoid awkwardness, and put the donor experience at the top of the list for your board members.