Great Expectations, or, the Art of Board Member Fundraising

We all expect our Board members to be brilliant advocates and fundraisers, right?

And I do believe that, for the most part, they truly want to be. But we tend to ask a lot of them. For the past three years I worked for an organization that looks to Board members for individual gifts, peer fundraising, and house party hosting. So, it is easy to understand that in the final quarter of the fiscal year, just when we are ready for a final fundraising push, these resources may be exhausted. In this situation it is easy for Board members to feel over-taxed and under-appreciated. To this end, I am happy to share a strategy that has been very successful over the past year.

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“An Evening to Benefit…”

Following a presentation on house parties at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network conference in October, the most common request I received from attendees was to share examples of language that can be used in an invitation. The text of the invitation is incredibly important, as this is essentially Ask #1. You want your invitees to know, without a doubt, that they are being invited to a fundraiser. With this clarity, your host can feel confident making Ask #2 in person, because all of the attendees know and expect that it will be coming.

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