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November 11, 2010 Three Ways to Get Your Board on Board

It is probably safe to say that most organizations have a board of directors.  The big question is how to get your board involved from a fund raising perspective.  Being a professional fund raising consultant, I think it best to approach the topic from this angle.

Most boards consist of a menagerie of personalities and proficiencies.  Some bring charisma and charm.  This is great when you need elbows rubbed and favors called in to get that new wing built.  Some might add a financial flavor.  They know how to crunch the numbers, squeeze the dollars, and help your budget loose a few extra pounds.  And the board member we all love is the one with muscle.  They enjoy rolling up their sleeves and doing whatever needs to be done.  The list of talents go on, and believe me variety is good!

When it comes to fund raising live auctions, of which we specialize, sometimes it can be difficult to get your board members involved outside of making the big decisions, which will cost the organization money.  With this in mind, I have pulled together a few tips to help them get on board.  No real pun intended.

Take into account that you will raise 60 – 80% more with a live auction versus a silent auction.  With this in mind, schedule a brief meeting with your board members to break down how much money you want to raise in your live auction versus how much time you have to raise it in.  This will let you know how many items you need to sell in your live auction and how much each item needs to bring.  You then need to know if the guests, who are attending your event, will support this need.  Will they spend ($XXX) amount of money for these items?  If they won’t, you either need different guests, different items, or both.

Second.  Remind your board of the number one reason why people don’t attend fund-raising events; because they haven’t been asked.  Have the board members pick up the phone and personally invite their most influential friends and acquaintances within the community.  This adds quality and notoriety to your fund raiser.

And last.  Ask them what they would buy if they had ($XXX) to spend.  Then, find out who has those items and how you can get them.  Make your event the place to be.  Contact me for more information about taking your fund raising to the next level.

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