28 Jan Encouraging Board Members to Fundraise
“Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13-15, MSG)
If you are a visionary leader or a dedicated board member, it can be discouraging when other board members don’t share your enthusiasm. Some board members don’t consider it their responsibility to raise money—even worse some don’t give at all. If you’re frustrated, you are not alone. Askers always struggle to motivate non-askers to participate in fundraising. Before you write your resignation letter, consider these words from Paul:
Warn the freeloaders to get a move on!
“Obit” board members are motivated by the “praise of men” and only serve organizations to build their obituary resumes. Effective board members are moved by your ministry’s mission and vision and do whatever it takes to advance the cause. Board members should give generously and get their friends to give. If they don’t, they should be encouraged to get on another board.
Gently encourage the stragglers.
Some board members have trouble following through with fundraising responsibilities. People have a thousand things to do, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Tasks like setting up a major donor call tend to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Come alongside your busy board members and encourage them to keep moving forward with your fundraising plan.
Reach out for the exhausted.
Don was a rare board member who jumped into a capital campaign with both feet. As he made donor calls, he discovered many of his contacts weren’t as excited about the campaign as he was. At one point he said, “I’d rather be digging dirt with a shovel than ask for money.” With some encouragement, Don kept pitching. At the end of the campaign, he had raised three times more than anyone else on the committee. Reach out to exhausted board members and pull them to their feet.
Be patient with each person.
As gift income rises, so does everyone’s mood, but when donations go down, attitudes often follow. You look at board members and wonder why they aren’t helping. They look at you and wonder why you don’t get out of the office and call on major donors. Take this verse to heart, “And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.”
Think About This: Ask a board member to introduce you to his or her friend this week. Take them with you and mutually encourage one another as you tell your ministry story!
Response: Father, please forgive me. I’ve been impatient with some of my board members. Help me understand their individual perspectives and do my best to help them and us be successful.
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.