Cause Effective Perspective
A Package to Sell
I saw it again last week.
A board member sat forward in his chair.
“I could fundraise for that,” he said eagerly.
A minute ago, a month ago, nobody on this board “knew anybody they could approach” for anything more than an event ticket.
Now, they were all asking for materials to take to their friends.
It’s the power of mission – the why of fundraising.
When you get it right – matching money to mission – the pull is irresistible.
We’re always so tied up in what we need.
Makes sense – we have the day-to-day grind of running a nonprofit, paying the bills.
We forget that’s not why people get excited by our work. They don’t care that the computers need replacing so the employees can be productive in helping single mothers get the benefits to help them lift their families out of poverty.
They care about kids getting a fair shake.
The beauty is, our board members are both inside and outside. They can help us craft a case that meets our needs and reaches out to hook a donor in with the power of our mission.
They can listen to our insider talk, with an outsider’s ear.
But we have to be able to let them. Not to protest: “What do you mean that doesn’t sound exciting? It’s key to what we do!”
We have to ask our board members: “Can you sell this?”
“Will it fly?”
And swallow hard and humbly at the answer…and then come back again with a recasting and reshaping, till we get it right.
As nonprofits, we’re dependent on the compassion of strangers. On the support of those who don’t really get it…in all its intricate detail; but who care, at their core, about the values we stand for.
Our board members can be the bridge to those individuals, if we let them. If we give them a package they can sell.