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Individual giving – finding the hidden gems in your prospect pool

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Turn up the donor pipeline –are you leveraging your board?

Charitable giving soared to a record-breaking $471 billion in 2020, according to the Giving USA 2021 Study. This was a 5.1% increase over 2019 despite a 2.3% decrease in GDP. As in previous years, the bulk of that generosity continues to come from individuals, the funding core of much nonprofit work across the U.S.

As we sit here today, with record-high inflation, we invite you to  re-consider your individual donor strategy. At the center of this approach is your board.

Governing and advisory boards have seen increased responsibilities and resources in the past ten years. This past April, Fortune CEO, Alan Murray, dedicated an episode of his popular podcast Leadership Next to exploring this trend and its implications. An observation shared in the publication is the shift in board member inclusion to attract and engage younger professionals. Boards today include more middle management professionals than in years past.

With this trend in mind, get to know your board members.

Where are they in their professional journey? Are they traditional C-suite, middle management, retired, etc? When did they begin engaging with your organization and what’s kept them engaged? In some cases, what has kept them from engaging deeper or at all?

Use this knowledge to build an intentional board stewardship plan and follow through on it. An intentional stewardship plan goes beyond baseline communication and is a powerful tool in fostering deep partnerships. You’d be pressed to find a more sustainable bridge to increase prospect conversion rates than this. Board members can become your loudest champions, they are crucial stakeholders that can support in broadening the reach of your vision and mission, making them important contributors to your prospect-to-donor pipeline.

The best stewardship plans have an organic, authentic, and relevant touch. Too often we only reach out to our key stakeholders in times of need. By identifying baseline communication at necessary points, those in need, your organization can create a powerful and inspiring communication sequence. The most compelling of these will use a combination of data and storytelling.

Energizing your base and maintaining your board members informed and your organization top of mind, all while ensuring they feel appreciated, are the results of a well-executed intentional board stewardship plan. As author Rodney Bullard shares in his book, Hero’s Wanted,

 
“Build bridges, bridges are connectors, they allow people to connect with one another, to lock our respective 3-feet with one another.”
 

Give your board members the tools to build bridges on your behalf and cross over to find the hidden gems in your prospect pool.

To learn more about board stewardship programs and how to leverage your board to increase individual giving, join author Maria Uribe in her upcoming webinar, “Turn Up Your Organization’s Individual Giving Pipeline” on Thursday, June 30, presented by Candid.

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