Positioning for a Successful Campaign: Cultivating Your Volunteer Fundraising Team

One of the indicators of capital campaign success is the willingness of your board and other volunteers to provide campaign leadership. Often, it’s up to the CEO and development director to facilitate the board’s engagement and to recruit other leadership volunteers.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Nancy Knoebel, President and CEO of Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania. Nancy described how her board devotes time at every board meeting to the information board members need for relationship building and fundraising.

You might consider these ways to help board members become comfortable with their roles:

  • provide education on the philanthropic process
  • help members understand motivations for giving
  • share information on your programs and services and how they are evaluated for effectiveness
  • arm your leaders with stories that illustrate your case for support

It isn’t necessary for every member of your board to do the asking. Easter Seals involves each board member in a way that is comfortable for them. Many board members serve in supporting roles.

Here are some ways your board members might help your fundraising efforts:

  • develop lists of prospective donors and their networks
  • serve as a speaker for service clubs or churches
  • write notes, make phone calls and thank donors personally for their support
  • invite community leaders to join an event
  • host a small gathering to share an update and get input into your organization’s plans

According to a recent report by the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy in the UK, every board should include at least two “fundraising champions” willing to be directly involved in fundraising. However, many more fundraising leaders, including non-board members, are needed in a capital campaign.

In preparation for a campaign, ask your “fundraising champions” and your board to:

  • ask that 100% of board members make gifts that are personally meaningful
  • expand development committee membership to include donors and community leaders who have demonstrated interest in getting involved
  • study capital campaign principles and best practices and think about how these apply to your organization
  • seek advice from others and work with your fundraising consultant to formulate your fundraising strategy as your campaign plans unfold

See our earlier article on positioning for a successful campaign by informing and engaging key leaders including prospective donors.

MMS Advancement Associates LLC is here to help you with Campaign Preparation. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.


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