Through the past six years of working with charity partners of various sizes and structures, we’ve found that some nonprofit executive directors have a difficult time motivating and engaging their board. Think of your organization as a large sailboat. There are many necessary tasks and responsibilities and sailing requires the help of every member on board; some are responsible for steering, others for the angles of the sails, and more for managing the cables and making sure everyone is safe! Without everyone working together, the boat would stay in place or (worse) sink.

It’s the captain’s job to get everyone “on board” with the goal and motivate the crew to keep up their good work despite any hard conditions.

Assign Roles and Committees

Like a boat’s crew is split up so that all of the responsibilities are covered, a board needs to be separated into committees to ensure all tasks are handled. Here are some of the roles or committees you will need when planning a fundraising initiative or event:

  • Auction item procurement: gather popular items like packages and experiences to increase auction revenue. Check with local businesses and Gesture’s Corporate Donation Guide to get an idea of who to ask.
  • Volunteer management: make sure your volunteers know what they should be doing, when they should be doing it, and how to do it!
  • PR/social media: increase donor numbers and donations at your event by getting the word out about your event to the public. Spread the word using popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also reach out to local news sources to see if they can host you to speak more about the event to their audience!
  • Venue logistics: assign a committee to take charge of securing the venue, organizing the catering, bar, furniture, and other key event details to make the day special. This group of people should be highly organized and preferably have experience planning events so that you can be confident nothing will slip through the cracks.
  • Payment/donation management: ensure you have a safe, secure, and easy way for your donors to pay for auction items and make donations throughout the event. Partner with a mobile bidding and fundraising platform like Gesture to make giving easier at your events.

Separate your board based on their abilities and passions. This will make them more excited to tackle their new project and help create an amazing event.

Leverage Passion

Also, keep in mind that each and every board member is part of the organization because they care about the cause you support. Even though it may be hard to motivate them at times, keep in mind that they too want do what they can for your cause and use that as a way to ignite them. When in doubt, remember to SAIL:

S – stay in charge: you are the leader of this ship
A – ask the board for feedback so they feel heard and you can change what’s not working
I – inspire your board with the mission of your organization
L – lead by example: show the board the types of behaviors you are looking for

Using Gesture for your event will help you with more than just payment and donation management. Gesture offers a myriad of services that can help with social media, bidding management, donor logistics, fund-the-need donation campaigns, and more. Learn more about the services Gesture offers and how they can help to make your next fundraising initiative a success here.