February 4, 2019
Planning nonprofit fundraising events is super exciting, but depending on the makeup of your board, deciding what types of responsibilities each member should have in the process can be a bit tricky. That's because nonprofit board members are just like snowflakes—no one of them is exactly alike and every member has their own strengths. Some board members are MIA when it comes to activities like events, some are waaaay too involved in the minutia of party planning, while other members just want to know when and where the partaaayy is. Whoever's on your board, there are ways to manage their involvement in the event planning process based on their interests that'll maximize their efficacy and give you plenty of freedom to plan an event to remember.
The one with high-profile connections
You know the one. They've got friends in high places and aren't afraid to flex their connections for a good cause. The board member with the deep Rolodex is a godsend and can really help boost the excitement for your fundraising event by calling in a few favors.
Their mission: Have your board member secure a high-profile guest speaker at your event to bring in the bookoo donation bucks. Forget picking napkin colors. If you want your board to really make an impact, make the big ask that could have even bigger results.
The one who loves taking on projects
Every board has a member that just loves taking on projects and is aching for a place to harness all of that Type-A energy. Most of the time, though, the projects they're interested in could be done by a staff member, which isn't the best use of the board member's time. When it comes to your fundraising events, though, this could be a great opportunity to have them put those skills to good use.
Their mission: Charge your board member with organizing the silent auction at your event. What better way to advocate for your nonprofit than leveraging their passion for your mission by securing free stuff that benefits the organization?
The one who loves the limelight
Some people were made to be in the spotlight, and if you have one of those people on your board, you should consider making them the master of ceremonies at your event. This can especially be useful if the president or CEO of the organization isn't charismatic or good at inspiring a crowd.
Their mission: Be the host(ess) with the most(ess). Having a charming board member is golden and utilizing them to serve as the voice of your event takes the pressure off of spending resources to hire an MC.
Some people are natural fundraisers and if you have one (or 5) of these people on your board, you're getting more than their weight in gold. Board members tend to be C-Suite or director-level individuals with a ton of friends at companies with philanthropic arms that are yearning to embrace a great cause (like yours) with their money.
Their mission: Have this board member be in charge of getting those big-ticket sponsorships.
Bonus mission: The moneymaker could also be the designated board motivator and start a challenge, such as whoever brings the most guests to your event gets [insert worthwhile award here]. Yeah, that doesn't work on some people, but for the competitive ones, there's nothing like winning bragging rights. How do you know which attendees are with each board member? Funraise's ticketing feature has a "guest of" field, so you'll know exactly who invited each guest.
If you want to take this to the next level, boy, do we have the solution for you! Funraise's peer-to-peer fundraising syncs right into the Events & Ticketing feature suite. Your board members who know every-funding-body can set up their own fundraising pages where they can sell tickets to their entire network. (Hot tip: This is especially rad for junior boards!)
We're all in this together
All in all, your board should be doing tasks that have the highest financial impact, but if you're dealing with a smaller organization or are short staffed, asking your board to support other event fundraising activities is perfectly okay, too.
Everyone is all working together for a common goal so, if need be, get 'em in where they fit in. If you need help promoting your event through social media, give that job to your board. If there are too many vendors to communicate with, ask a board member to be the point person for your caterer. The sky is the limit when it comes to maximizing your board nonprofit fundraising potential.