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How to Talk to Your Junior Board About Fundraising

You want to ask your junior board members to fundraise for your organization or to sell tickets to your event, but how can you make sure they are effective in this task? Here are three things you can do to set them up for success:

  • Make sure they are comfortable with selling the mission.
    • Peer to peer fundraising is perfect for millenials, because it’s as easy as asking your friends to help you out with something. What will stall them, however, is if they don’t feel confident with why they are asking their friends for money in the first place. It’s your job as a nonprofit to fully equip your junior board members to answer questions about the organization. They need to know more than the mission statement to be really comfortable selling their friends on why their should give their money or time to get involved. No they don’t need to know every statistic and detail but give them just enough information about all that you do so they feel comfortable if they are asked where the money goes. A way to do this is to have a mission moment at the beginning of each meeting. For example: Have a volunteer come in and give a personal story about why they are involved in the organization. Share a picture of a family’s life you have touched (and recently, keep it relevant!) and how the money you raised directly impacted their situation. Read a thank you email you received from a donor after a great event. Your junior board should feel like they are a part of the impact your organization has on the people you serve.
  • Talk to them about WHY you need the money.  
    • Your junior board knows that you need money to keep an organization afloat, but trust them with more information about why you are making a big push for a fundraising effort right now. For example, if the economy has taken a hit and you’ve lost a major sponsor for an event, be honest and tell the junior board that you are trying to make up X amount because you have a family who needs a home built and that sponsorship was going to cover the cost. Or you are a health organization that funds research and this year in particular you have a researcher about to find a breakthrough and they need more funding to keep the project going. Or, maybe it’s even as simple as your building has a leak in the roof and you are using all of your event donations to go straight to your mission and you really need to expand your budget so that you staff doesn’t have to walk around a drip all day. They’ll get it. And when they know WHY they’re being pressed to raise more money this year, they’ll be more likely to work harder for you.
  • Help them see that they already have practice fundraising, they just may not realize it.
    • If your junior board members balk at a fundraising goal or are hesitant to sell tickets to their friends, don’t be discouraged, that’s normal. Talk them through some ways that they can easily reach out to friends, and let them know that it’s nothing they don’t already do daily. For example, ask them about the last time they went to a concert with friends. Did they ask other friends to go with them? Did those friends have to pay money for tickets? Most likely they answer to both is yes. See? Now they’ve already done peer to peer fundraising. When they see the comparison it will seem less intimidating.

Millenials are an extremely charitable generation, but they are also particular with how they spend their time and money. They want to know that what they’re donating to is valid, so take the time to assure them that your mission deserves all of their time and money (because it does!) The junior board members of today are the Board of Directors members of tomorrow and will be better donors down the road if you get them comfortable with asking for money now. At the same time, though, it’s important to not overwhelm your junior board members with asks for money. Remember, they are more than a fundraising committee.

Not sure if a junior board is right for you? Check out our latest blog post on things to consider before starting a junior board.

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