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Turning board members into peer-to-peer fundraisers

In the past, we’ve written about ways to get your volunteers to also fundraise for your cause. Now we’d like to look at how to turn board members into peer-to-peer fundraisers.

One of the biggest staples of a successful nonprofit is a dedicated and invested board of directors. What would happen if being invested meant board members becoming actively involved in your organization, particularly when it comes to fundraising?

A study done in 2012 showed that of nonprofits who had board members participating in fundraising, 55% saw an increase in the fundraising results compared to the amount raised the previous year. Nonprofits often would like their board to be involved in fundraising, but it can be difficult for the organizations to know how to ask. On the other hand, though they may be interested in doing so, fundraising can seem like a challenge for board members since many don’t have any experience.

Using Peer to Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a fundraising tactic that employs your supporters to fundraise on your behalf. This type of fundraising encourages volunteers, employees, previous donors and general supporters of your nonprofit to reach out to their social and business networks and ask for donations. Peer-to-peer fundraising often involves a fundraiser asking friends and family to visit a personal or team fundraising page where they can make an online donation in the fundraiser’s name.

The members of a typical nonprofit board have a wide professional network and know how to use it. Because of this, encouraging board members to do peer-to-peer fundraising might not be all that difficult. Nonprofits must simply make fundraising an easy process for board members to follow. Here are a few steps nonprofits can to take to do so:

Educate board members on your need

Before you convince them to fundraise for you, you must remind board members of your need and how they can help. Being open and transparent about the areas where your nonprofit is struggling is something you should already be doing with your board—showing them how they can help is the next step.

Give them a platform

Remember to let board members know that while you are asking them to participate in raising money for your organization, you are primarily asking that they act as ambassadors of your charity to their social networks. Make good on your word by hosting non-ask events that are not primarily fundraisers. These events could be anything from networking happy hours or speaking events. Events like these serve as a first opportunity for your board members to introduce their friends, families and coworkers to your nonprofit, setting them up to feel more comfortable participating in later fundraising campaigns.

If your board members already feel comfortable asking their networks to donate, set them up for success by creating individual fundraising pages for each member on your website, as in the below example from Stonewall Community Foundation. They can share the link via social media or email with potential donors in their network and encourage them to give directly to their personal fundraising page.

Example of a board member fundraising page
Example of a board member fundraising page

To make it easy and to have a consistent message across your campaign, supply board members with a “fundraising kit” of ready-to-go emails and social media postings they can use to promote their fundraising page with their network.

Start by testing these suggestions and you’ll be sure to see your board members more invested in your nonprofit as well as an increase in fundraising dollars. Subscribe to 4aGoodCause’s blog for more fundraising methods and suggestions.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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