owing is a post from Marc Pitman, The Fundraising Coach, from last year, but pertinent, and something for us all to think about as we come up on fall, and our busier seasons…
Think about hiring Marc for some training, he will be here (on the South Shore) for Tech Day Camp Oct 22, and he may be able to do some training for your organization on the 21st!!
Fundraising Secret #59: Get Training for Your Board and Volunteers
September 14th, 2010
leadership training annually. But I’ve heard that
the average development professional stays in their position for 18 months. Since the downturn of 2008 that might be a little longer.
In any case, your board and your volunteers will be with your organization longer than you. Much longer. So it only makes sense to help them learn the best practices in the field: both fundraising related and mission related.
If you don’t yet do regular training for your board and volunteers, be prepared for some resistance. They may have to take days off from work to go away to a conference. But as you invest in them, they will become more committed to your cause and invest more into it themselves.
Here are some things you can do to get the most bang for your training buck:
- If you can hire a consultant or coach to come to do a training, why not make part of that training in the evening with your board, after most people get out of work. (Remember, even if 5 p.m. is the end of the day for you and your board, your board members will have to travel to you. If you’re in a suburb and most of your leaders are in the city, make sure the timing of your evening session allows for the commute.)
- Another idea is to include some training in each board meeting. Just make it a standing agenda item. It need take no more than 10 minutes, but you can use that to highlight fundraising or even invite staff members in to talk about the nonprofit’s work.
- Or you could use videos those from 501Videos (creators of the popular “Movie Mondays” free videos for fundraisers). They send out free movies every Monday and also have DVDs you can purchase. (To sign up for the free movies, go to http://bit.ly/501videos. Or check out the “Top 10 Best Movies for Helping Board Members” DVD.)
- If your group is a group of readers, you could even assign a book so that everyone is learning from the same source. There are many good books available. Emerson & Church publishes books that are very readable. And my own Ask Without Fear! was written with board members in mind. Be sure to contact the author or publisher to see if there are discounts for bulk ordering.
Investments you make in the board could well be the biggest legacy you leave your nonprofit. After all, board members and volunteers will be there far longer than you will!