Fund Development Committees

Last week we had a wonderful discussion in our Fundraiser’s Forum about Fund Development Committees.  What do good fund development committees do?

We know of a few organizations that have purposefully disbanded their fundraising committees because fundraising is the job of the entire board, and by relegating the job to a committee it lets everyone else off the hook.

We talked at length today about how important it is to create a feeling of success for our board members, and here are several small, easy things that all board members can do to help with fundraising that will make them feel good!

We settled on three things the Development Committee can do that are genuinely helpful:

1. Make phone calls, write notes, thank the donors.  Studies prove that hearing from volunteers in leadership roles has a definite positive impact on donors, and the development committee is the perfect place to start.  You can report back to them with all the great stories you’ll get from your donors about how impactful their thanks you’s are, and everyone will feel all warm and fuzzy.

2. Planning events.  If you’re going to have events, you need your board to take the leadership on that.  They can be big huge fundraisers or small house parties, but either way, the Development Committee should be involved.

3. Championing board engagement in fundraising.  The Development Committee should be taking the initiative in talking to other board members about whether they’ve made their gift yet, about how they want to be involved in fundraising (which includes stewardship!), and helping put gentle pressure on the folks who lag behind in their commitments.  This does NOT mean standing up at a board meeting and reminding everyone to give in a blanket statement!  This means one-on-one meetings or conversations to engage your peers on the board.

Lastly, here is a sample ‘Menu’ from Andy Robinson of ways board members can get involved in fundraising – it’s a great conversation starter, and puts a variety of different options in front of your board member while leaving them in control of the decision of how they want to get involved.  We’ve found it to be a very helpful tool and encourage you to customize it for your organization.

All my best,

Photo on 6-6-16 at 11.33 AM 2

Hanna Miller