Beyond the Basics: Advanced Strategies for Engaging Board Members in Fundraising Efforts


In the world of nonprofit organizations, board involvement in fundraising is crucial for long-term success. Engaging board members in fundraising efforts not only boost the organization’s financial resources but also strengthens the board’s commitment to the organization’s mission. This article goes beyond basic strategies and delves into advanced techniques for effectively engaging board members in fundraising activities.

Assessing Board Members’ Skills and Interests

To optimize board members’ fundraising efforts, it is essential to understand their unique skills and interests. Conducting a skills and interest assessment helps identify the strengths each board member can bring to the fundraising process.

Tips for conducting a skills and interest assessment include creating a survey or conducting one-on-one interviews. By understanding each board member’s background, expertise, and passions, you can tailor fundraising roles and activities to engage them meaningfully and ensure their efforts align with their strengths.

Here is a sample board skills assessment:

Board Member Information

  • What is your name?
  • What is your position on the board?
  • How long have you been a member of the board?
  • What is your professional background?

Fundraising Experience and Skills

  • Have you participated in fundraising activities before? If yes, please describe your experience.
  • What types of fundraising activities have you been involved in (e.g., individual giving, major gifts, grants, events, etc.)?
  • Are you comfortable soliciting donations from individuals or organizations?
  • Do you have experience in donor cultivation and stewardship?
  • Are you comfortable with planning and executing fundraising events?

Communication and Outreach Skills

  • Are you comfortable with public speaking?
  • Do you have experience with networking and building relationships?
  • Are you comfortable with writing persuasively (e.g., grant proposals, solicitation letters, etc.)?
  • Do you have experience with social media or other digital marketing channels?
  • Have you participated in outreach activities before (e.g., tabling at events, community presentations, etc.)? If yes, please describe your experience.

Governance and Leadership Skills

  • Have you served on a board before? If yes, please describe your experience.
  • Do you have experience with strategic planning or decision-making?
  • Are you comfortable with managing conflicts or difficult conversations?
  • Do you have experience leading teams or managing staff?
  • Are you comfortable with financial management or budgeting?
  • Do you have any legal or regulatory expertise that may be relevant to the organization?

Other Skills and Interests

  • Are there any other skills or areas of expertise you possess that may be relevant to the organization or its mission?
  • Are there any particular areas of the organization’s work that you are particularly interested in or passionate about?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share about your skills or interests that may be relevant to your role on the board?

Setting Fundraising Goals and Expectations

Establishing clear fundraising goals and expectations is crucial for board members to understand their responsibilities and stay motivated. Realistic and achievable goals not only drive progress but also create a sense of accomplishment when met.

To set effective goals, consider factors such as past fundraising performance, potential donor base, and available resources. Communicate these expectations regularly, and track progress through periodic updates and check-ins.

Here is a sample statement to the board of directors:

“Dear Board Members,

I hope this message finds you well. As we move forward into the next phase of our organization’s growth, I wanted to take a moment to share my vision for our fundraising efforts and the critical role that each of you plays in achieving our goals.

As you know, fundraising is an essential component of our work as a nonprofit organization. It allows us to expand our impact, reach more people in need, and bring our mission to life in new and exciting ways. But more than that, fundraising is a way for us to come together as a community and demonstrate our collective commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

I am inspired by the passion, dedication, and expertise that each of you brings to our organization. I know that together, we have the power to achieve incredible things and make a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve. That is why I am calling on each of you to step up and embrace your role as a fundraiser for our organization.

Whether it’s through personal outreach to your networks, participating in fundraising events, or cultivating relationships with donors, each of you has a unique set of skills and experiences that can contribute to our fundraising success. I urge you to think creatively, collaborate with your fellow board members, and take bold action in pursuit of our fundraising goals.

I understand that fundraising can be challenging, but I am confident that together, we can rise to the occasion and achieve great things. I am excited to work alongside each of you as we embark on this journey together.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our organization and our mission. Let’s show the world what we’re capable of!


[Your Name] “

Providing Training and Support

Providing board members with proper training and support enhances their fundraising capabilities and confidence. Training opportunities can include workshops, webinars, or coaching sessions that cover various aspects of fundraising, such as prospect research, donor stewardship, and event planning.

Cultivating a culture of learning and continuous improvement helps board members stay engaged and committed to their fundraising responsibilities.This may be an opportunity to bring in outside board development support, for a small investment an expert may be able to unlock a lot of fundraising potential. 

Leveraging Technology and Data

Utilizing technology and data can significantly support board members in their fundraising efforts. Fundraising software and tools can streamline processes, track progress, communicate with donors, and inform data-driven decisions.

Consider adopting donor management systems, CRM platforms, and data analytics tools to improve board engagement and fundraising effectiveness. Implementing these technologies empowers board members with insights and resources to excel in their fundraising roles. LinkedIn groups that connect your board members with the fundraising team can accelerate the ability for board members to make connections in their network. 

Recognizing and Celebrating Board Members’ Contributions

Recognizing and celebrating board members’ fundraising achievements fosters a positive environment and encourages continued commitment. Implement recognition strategies such as awards, public acknowledgments, or special events to express gratitude and appreciation for their hard work. Cultivating a culture of gratitude strengthens board members’ relationships with the organization and reinforces their dedication to the cause.

By employing advanced strategies for engaging board members in fundraising efforts, nonprofit leaders can maximize the board’s potential and drive organizational success. Investing in board development and fundraising initiatives, such as skills assessments, goal-setting, training, technology adoption, and recognition, ensures a powerful and dedicated team working towards the organization’s mission. Now is the time to enhance your board’s fundraising capabilities and take your nonprofit to new heights.