Easing board members into fundraising can be a rewarding and fun process, especially if they focus on just telling stories. Last week on the blog, I shared 3 types of stories that non-profit board members can tell. Once board members have a story in mind that they would like to tell, they may be wondering who/where they should tell their stories.
Below you’ll find 10 opportunities for board members to tell their stories. I hope this gives you and your board some new ideas!
Thank You Phone Calls – Thank you calls are an easy way to get board members involved in fundraising without asking. It’s an opportunity for board members to connect with donors and share meaningful conversation. Many non-profits will provide board members with a sample script that they can use during the call. You can also encourage them to share a story during the call, which you can include in the script.
Donor Visits – Sometimes board members will be asked to come along on donor visits as a part of cultivation, solicitation, or stewardship. Visits are a wonderful opportunity to deepen donors’ personal connection to the organization and that can organically happen as they get to know the people who work and volunteer there. If it feels right, this can be a great opportunity for board members to share their personal story with donors.
In Your Next Newsletter – There are lots of opportunities for board members to share their story, including in writing! Think about including a personal story from a board member in your next newsletter as a way for donors to get to know the leadership team a little bit better. It doesn’t have to be very long (maybe 200 words) and you can include a picture of the board member so that people have a face for the name.
At the Beginning of Board Meetings – Board meetings are a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect and reenergize. Take the first 5 to 10 minutes of your next board meeting and use it to share stories. This gives board members a chance to practice telling stories, plus everyone will have a chance to reconnect to the mission before diving into the meeting work.
As a Part of New Board Member Recruitment – This might seem like an odd suggestion to include on this list, but getting the right people on your board is so important. First and foremost, you want to look for a culture and values fit. One of the best ways to naturally attract that is by having board members tell stories that articulate key values and beliefs. They can do this in conversation with prospective board members and during interviews.
At Networking Events – Board members will sometimes be asked to attend networking or community events on behalf of the organization. The goal is often to make some new contacts and help the non-profit be more visible. As board members introduce themselves, what better way to connect than sharing a story.
Around the Water Cooler at Work – Whether it’s in the lunch room, during a coffee break, or before a meeting, there are lots opportunities for small talk in our day to day lives. We spend a good amount of our time at work and there are often opportunities for work colleagues get to know us a bit better. If it feels appropriate, board members can share a bit about their volunteer work.
During a P2P Campaign – Many non-profits have fun runs or other events that require peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P). Board members will often participate in these by having a fundraising page and asking family and friends for donations. They can share a short personal story on their fundraising page or in their fundraising emails.
Fundraising Events – If your non-profit hosts an annual fundraising event that board members are asked to attend, there are many opportunities to tell stories. As table hosts, board members can use a story as a conversation starter. If your board chair is giving a speech during the event, you may want to work with them to tell a story instead.
On Your Website – Most non-profit websites feature a list of board members along with their headshots and bios. Rather than a standard bio, you could have your board members share a mini story about why they love the organization and wanted to be a board member.
Leave a comment below and share which of these ideas would you most like to try. Do you have other ideas? Be sure to share them below!
These are all excellent ideas Vanessa! 🙂
Vanessa Chase Lockshin says
Thank you, Mazarine!