September 27, 2012

7 Board Activities Can Help Charities Bring In More Money

Charities are more likely to meet fundraising success when their boards pursue at least seven types of fundraising activities, such as holding events and seeking gifts from friends, according to a new study.

The study—conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative—assessed the use of 11  approaches to involving board members by examining the progress of 1,602 nonprofits in meeting their 2011 fundraising goals.

The techniques studied were:

* Sharing their contact lists.

* Seeking contributions from friends or associates.

* Securing sponsorships from companies.

* Making personal introductions to potential donors.

* Visiting prospective donors.

* Hosting a fundraising event.

* Allowing the use of the board member's name in solicitations and other materials.

* Chairing fundraising events.

* Thanking donors.

* Rating prospective donors on their ability to give.

* Helping develop fundraising plans.

The study found that the power of board members to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals varied by the nonprofit's size:

* Organizations with budgets under $3-million were more likely to succeed when their boards helped in a wide range of solicitations.

* For charities with budgets of $3-million to $10-million, the number of fundraising activities pursued by trustees didn't matter as much. But those who met their fundraising goals were most likely to be successful when their trustees asked others to give, allowed their names to be used in solicitations, or rated potential donors on their ability to give.

* Among charities with budgets of $10-million or more, getting the board personally involved in reaching out to other supporters increased the chances of fundraising success.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative is a coalition of nonprofits and companies that focus on fundraising and nonprofit research.