Not Just You: Fundraising Committees That Work

It’s not uncommon. You create a committee to fundraise. You carefully screen whom to invite and coax them to join.
And then boom! You leave the meeting with lots of advice, tons of work, and only a little help. Why does this happen across the sector? How can you get the help you need? Take the following steps.
1.  Names Matter.
Select the title of your gathering with care. Unless you just want advice, don’t use the word advisory or its synonyms.
2. Recruit with Integrity.
As you invite helpers, share expectations. Mention that you anticipate that everyone will leave with half a dozen people to contact. You’ll recruit fewer volunteer but get more results.
3. Be Ambitious.
Write down all your goals for the committee. This preparation gives you a fallback plan in case of detours. Sort your goals into best, realistic, and worse case, such as:
  • Best: Seven people contact five people by June 30.
  • Realistic: Five attendees agree to contact two people plus seven names I call.
  • Worse: You invited nice people but not the right people. You gain insights on your next move.

During Fundraising Committee Meeting

4. Inspire.
Take the attitude that you would be remiss not to share the opportunity for attendees to contribute to your cause and make new friends in this meaningful and measurable way. Be clear about fundraising challenges. Remind all of the rewards of achieving the mission.
5. Finish Strong.
Summarize what happened. Review decisions. While you’re together, solve anticipated challenges. For ongoing groups use the Partnership Evaluation Tool.


6. Take Five to Evaluate.
You invested significant time to create the committee. Take few minutes to cement your growth. What went well? What would you do differently next time? How will you follow-up?
Give people in your community a better life. Include BOTH those you serve and those who work with you to make it happen. Don’t steal all the joy of helping. Spread it around. Check out Karen’s library for more insights about boards and teams.