How to Keep Your Board Engaged in Resource Development all Year
Patrick Kirby 0:01
Hey, everybody, welcome to a nonprofit boot camp. We are here with our guest expert training for the month of June. I’m very excited about today’s presentation, mostly because I have an affinity and a love for our presenter here. like no one’s business, one of my favorite people that I’ve ever been able to present with that we’ve done podcast together, I know that she is the expert in her field, which is why we brought her for you today. Everybody, I’d love to welcome to the well to this broadcast for this webinar, Sabrina Walker Hernandez, I would give her a giant background of information. But I always know that it is very awkward to give a presentation and then read a bio in front of that person. So I will back off and let her introduce herself. But we got a great one for you today. One of the things that we talked about a lot with all of you who are part of this, this boot camp was your need for more information on how to keep your board engaged. So we delivered, we want to make sure that you’ve got all of these awesome things in in your your pocket, you’ve got all the skill sets to make your your board have great experience, whether you’re on one, whether you’re recruiting board members, I’m really excited to welcome and please give a virtual round of applause. And welcome to our friend, Sabrina Walker Hernandez. Sabrina, the floor is yours, my friend.
Sabrina Walker Hernandez 1:30
Thank you. Thank you, bow to you. Thank you, Patrick. Thank you, Sammy, I’m so happy to be here. I love actually talking about this topic. I love boards of directors, I think that sometimes we give them a bad rep, but we need to utilize them in a good way. So I’m going to be talking about how to keep your board engaged and resource development all year. And so as we get into this presentation, I hope what I say resonates with you. And so just a little bit about me is I studied political science and public administration obtained a nonprofit management certification from Harvard Business School. And for the last 25 years, I’ve worked in the nonprofit industry. I’ve worked in direct services, I’ve worked in operations and executive leadership, and 2018, I was diagnosed with cancer, and I felt I needed to retire. And since then, I’ve been helping small nonprofit staff and board, build relationships that convert into more donations. Now people always ask me, Why do I keep the cancer diagnosis in there? I keep it in there because it is the whole impetus of why I started my company supporting world hope I started because I understand that journey of being stressed out, overwhelmed, overworked, and sometimes underpaid. And I thought I have all this knowledge in my head. And I want to be able to provide it for other nonprofit professionals who who are sitting in that seat, who barely have time to do anything who don’t take that lunch, who is working those crazy hours, I’m going to tell you to stop doing that because it will manifest itself as it did for me. And so I wanted to make sure that you had somewhere that you could go and get quality workshops, board retreats, webinars, coaching and consulting, if not for free at a very reasonable cost. And so that’s why I love these great partnerships that Patrick offers to everyone. And a number of the people that I’ve worked with our values align, and I am all about value alignment and bringing service to you. And so the goal of this presentation for today is number one is for you to understand the role of the board and resource development and fundraising for you to learn how to engage the board and each of these roles. And number three, know how staff can support the board and resource development and fundraising because it takes a team effort if you want to go down this journey. And so there are roles of the board. So roles of board members, there’s things that board members as individuals can do to be involved in resource development and fundraising. And that’s one is for them to give generously. Right. I always get the question about well, we don’t really have our board members are not giving they’re given their time and their talent. And we really the treasure is not one of the things that we seek because they’ve given their time and their talent and I’m going to stop you right there. It’s not going to be a debate Our discussion or issue, I’m going to tell you right up front,
Unknown Speaker 5:04
your board is the highest governing body of your organization. They give their time, their talent, and their treasure, how you define that treasure is up to your organization or your board that could be up to according to their means. That could be a specific amount, but they are family to the organization. And as such, they need to give generously. They need to be an advocate for the organization. And they need to participate in resource development and fundraising. And so as we get into this discussion, I’m going to share with you some house right, because I’m keep telling you, this is what they have to do. This is what they should be doing. But oftentimes, we get stuck in the house. Well, how if my board has never given before, how do I get them to start giving? If my board hasn’t been an advocate before? How do I get them to advocate? And so we’re going to be talking about that as we go through this discussion. Now, what I’m going to ask Sam and Patrick to do is if I am not a great manager of time, I will be we’ve we’ve already established that right. And so if I want to leave some time at the end, to get some questions answered, so monitor that for me, I’m seeing it here. But I want to make sure, again, that that I leave some time for you at the end. So again, let’s talk about give generously and make their personal contribution. Why do you want that you want that because it shows a level of commitment. One, it will make them much better fundraisers, because they can say, you know, join me in investing in our organization. And it’s also hard number one is hard to ask someone to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself. So if you have someone serving on your board, and they’re not willing to give, it’s going to be very hard for them to go on and ask someone else to give. So we got to, we got to get over that. And have people understand the give generously. So how how do you get people to give generously? Well, my friends, it starts in the recruitment process. Yes, you have to talk about fundraising, in the recruitment process, when you say I have this person, and I want them to serve on the board, but I don’t want to talk about fundraising and the recruitment process, because I’m going to scare them off. You’re doing a disservice to yourself, and to the individual. Because what’s going to happen is you’re going to get frustrated, because you’re going to say, and I will quote this, they’re not doing anything to help anyway, why do I need this board member they don’t get they don’t come to the events, they don’t come to the meetings that you have set them up for failure by not sharing with them what the expectations are. And by not talking about fun raising in the recruitment process. That’s where a board engagement begins. Having that clear recruitment process, talking about fundraising in that recruitment process. Now how you talk about fundraising, may be different. So and we’ll get get more into that. I have a formula that I use for fundraising that I will share with you throughout this, this presentation. But you got to start talking about fundraising and the recruitment process, because board members have three primary functions. They are they provide trusteeship, they provide oversight, and they ensure necessary resources. Those are the three roles. And that’s where that comes in. And so don’t do that disservice to them.
Unknown Speaker 9:15
Nor to yourself, because it’s going to create frustration, if you don’t talk about that. Give them the opportunity to be able to say no, I don’t want to serve on this board. or Yes, I do want to serve on this board. And this is where I fit in, in fundraising. So I’m also yearly have individual meetings with your board members. Each board member you should be meeting with at least outside of the boardroom, at least once a year. I tried to do it twice a year, and there was my board my board chair, I met with them on a monthly basis outside of the board boardroom And I have board champions who I went to lunch with maybe on a weekly basis. And so that’s how you’re going to facilitate board gaming, you’re going to develop relationships with your board members, you’re going to talk about this process, you’re going to have an annual commitment for that annual commitment form could be shared in the recruitment packet. You know, this is what, here’s the agreement, this is what we ask our board members to do. And every year they sign off, they say, this is what we’re going to do, we’re going to secure this many donors for I’m going to give this much personally, that’s the number one thing, I’m going to secure this many donors for this event, I’m going to host a of house party, whatever, whatever it is that they have said that they are going to do, you put it in writing, and they sign off on it, and you review it with them and have an accountability process, what that accountability process looks like, again, is up to your board of directors, but at minimum, at minimum, and your board packet quarterly. Talk about where worth, what’s the status? Where are they at, because people don’t reach their goals, not because they don’t want to it’s they’re busy, they forget, right? They may be serving on multiple boards, I happen to serve on three fundraising boards, guys, don’t ask me how I got myself into that. Because originally, I was like serving on one board, one fundraising board at a time. And that is my belief. So let me put that there. But two opportunities came up that I just could not resist. And so I serve on three fundraising boards. And I may forget, you know, who gets the, the my individual gift they all do. But the first one that gets my individual gift is that one who tells me right up front, and they invoice me, they remind me of that. And then I have one that’s a newer board. And they are and they they start off is this much, you know, the newer board is $100. And they said, at the time I got on that no invoice, no reminder, nothing. The more veteran board that I got on there, there’s this $1,500. And we talked about it during the recruitment process. And my first meeting, I got an invoice and I paid it. And so you design that process the way that you need to design that process. But there needs to be a process in place, you have to facilitate board giving. You have to board members have to individually, they have to be an advocate. And so how do you make board members advocates, you have them share their personal stories, they need to spend time in the nonprofit and use a board meeting, education moment to draft up a elevator speech. And so sharing their their personal stories is starting your board meetings off with mission moments. And we’ll get more into what is a mission moment. How does that work? As we get into this presentation, creating again, those opportunities for them to spend time in the nonprofit and the elevator speech. For those that don’t know what an elevator speech is you could do an exercise as a part of your board education where you come up with, what are you going to say if someone asked you, what is our nonprofit are about, right? What is our nonprofit about, you have a speech where everybody’s saying the same theme. And that speech can be given and shared from going from floor one to floor to an elevator. So you’re not getting mixed messages out there. From the community. I happen to work with two different organizations that are literacy organizations, right. And people confuse them all the time. One is for adults, and one is for children and families. They don’t have a clear elevator speech. So it gets very confusing to the community, when they read the community realize they’re two separate organizations, but they have some of the same board members confusing. But if they took the time to work on that elevator speech, what makes them different? What are they trying to solve? It would help resolve some of those issues. So you have to train your board members to be advocates, right? And then you have to also train them to participate in resource development and fundraising. So let’s just get it out out front to board members, fundraising is the dirty F word. There. At that, you hear the word fundraising and people start to shake, they start to shiver, they start to sweat, they get all nervous, they start telling themselves, you know, you know, things like, I feel like I’m begging, I just, I can’t do it uncomfortable asking for money. You know, I don’t like to hear no, I don’t know any rich people, or I don’t ask my friends for money. And I don’t like asking strangers for money, which makes me giggle. Because if they’re not your friend, and then they are a stranger, so who do you ask? So that’s a whole nother issue there. But this is what people tell themselves. This is what particularly board members tell themselves, right. And so know that going in up front, that few people, if any, join your board of directors, because it’s a great opportunity to fundraise. This is not why they came on your board. Yet, we expect all board members to participate in fundraising. And then when we talk to them about joining the board, we say, don’t talk about fundraising, because that’s going to scare them off. So we set we set ourselves up for failure, and we set them up for failure. So that’s where nonprofits fail their board members is expecting great results, with no training, whispering the dirty F word, not wanting to even talk about the dirty F word. And so we have to get over that you have to educate your board and develop a strategic plan, you know, for their involvement, you just can’t keep asking them to solicit their list. It is not strategic. And it does not motivate your board members to increase their willingness to get involved. And so you have to start educating your board members. And this is a hope is going to help you along that journey. Because fundraising, and resource development is more than asking for money.
Unknown Speaker 17:16
It is a donor centered process, where you get to learn about the donor, where you invite donors to events, where you, your board member service advocates, letting that donor know, you know, what the organization is about where they cultivate the relationship with the donor, where they learn about the donor, and see what their the values align? And what does what does that donor passionate about. And so that’s what fundraising is all about. And the formula that I use, because guys, I sat in your seat, I sat in your seat for a long time. And I had a goal of taking my organization from $750,000 to a million dollar organization. And I worked this formula, and actually took it from a $750,000 organization to a $2.5 million organization. But I was busy. And so because we’re busy, and we all sit in this busy seat, right? We’re wearing multiple hats, I had to figure out a formula, where do I need to spend my time to hit those goals? To get my board members engaged? Where do I want them to spend their time? Because they’re busy, too. So here’s the formula that a use. Stage one of fundraising is identifying. That’s 10%. That’s identifying people who is in the circle of influence for your board members, for yourself? Who is it that board members may know, spend 10% of the time in there, you can do a list generator exercise a circle of influence exercise, you can, there’s a number of ways that you can get who is in that circle, but you start with the people that you know, right? And then stage two, which is about 10%. of 10% of fundraising is qualifying donors. How do you qualify donors? That is, do they have an affinity for our mission? Do they you know, just because they have money doesn’t mean that they’re passionate about our cause, right? There’s that or it could mean just because they have money, and they are they even may be passionate about our cause. But maybe they’re not in our circle, but you have to qualify do they have the ability to give and the affinity to our organization mission. So 10% of your time is their qualifying and you can qualify them again by sitting in them Run with your board. And you know, most your board members will know certain people and they may know certain things about different people. Or you can do a wealth screening, however you want to do it. We use a wealth screening when we did a capital campaign because we had to raise a huge amount of money and third poorest county in the United States, we endeavored on a $12 million capital campaign. So yes, we invest in in a wealth screen, you can do that in the qualifying stage. But where is most of your time spent? In this fundraising process, is building relationships. That’s stage three, that’s cultivation, building relationships. So 60% of fundraising, is building relationships, taking people out to lunch, calling them on the phone, finding out where their values align, doing discovery,
Unknown Speaker 20:59
informal discovery, queries, building relationships, 60% emissary for the people in the back of the room 60% of fundraising, is building relationships. Okay. And then stage, stage four is the ask. That’s only 5% of fundraising, asking, I promise you asking is only 5% of fundraising. If you do build the relationships, right, you let people you have the relationship, they know what’s going on in your organization, you got, you’ve shared with them what the need is, you know, where their values align, you do that right. By the time you set up a meeting with them, asking them, you, I love to come in and talk to you to see how you can further support our organization. They already know what you’re coming for, because you’ve built that relationship. And if you get that meeting, you’re like 85%? A Yes. Okay, so 5% of fundraising is asking, and then 15% of fundraising is maintaining the relationship, which is stewardship, or saying thank you. So hear me in this, where do you and you need to spend your time and your board is going to be in building and maintaining relationships, that 75% of the fundraising process, not asking, which is 5% I had a border 21. And out of those 21 Only three fearless ladies, were not afraid to ask for money. And so we’ll get more into that but 75% of fundraising is relationships, building relationships, which is cultivation, and saying thank you, and maintaining those relationships, which is stewardship. So, give your board members a choice, and then have them tap into their strengths. Some participation is non negotiable, like I said, I don’t debate with a board member should give or not give, I know from my experience and from the service that I provide in the community, that 100% of your board members should be making a personal significant gift to the nonprofit board members of the highest body in the organization. So their expectation is to give their time, their talent and their treasure. Now, again, what level they give that is up to you, it could be according to your means it could be again a minimum of 100 or a minimum of 500 or a minimum of 1005. So don’t get hung up in that. But the true bottom line is 100% of your board members should be given to your organization. So, also, you have to understand the fundraising process that I just share with you. You need to offer a range of various options that to your board and once again that play into their strengths. So if your board member is good at stage one and stage two of identifying and qualifying, then they could be door openers. Now this these board members can participate in the fundraising process by opening the doors to the eventual ask. They help identify potential donors. They build relationships with them, they generate interest in the organization. They show prospects, what the organization is all about. They show the history the programs the finances and I can hear the people, I can see the people rolling their eyes going out, door opens. That’s all they’re doing. Let me tell you the story of one of my favorite board members ever. And she’s a very good friend of mine to this day. Her name is Milly Smith. And when we interview Millie for the board, and we talked about fundraising, we’re very clear on expectation of fundraising, merely say, I will not ask for money. And so
Unknown Speaker 25:28
normal person may say, Well, maybe you maybe you’re not for this board. But understanding that fundraising process, I said, Okay, so what are you willing to do? And she says, I will introduce you to, to anybody in my circle. Anybody that I think that will support the organization. So imagine this Millie is a person who works in the BSA at a bank. So she’s back office, and she works in fraud. So you already got the personality, right? So what Millie did for us is, Millie introduced us to the bank owner, not the bank president, but the bank owner. She lends her credibility, because she serves on our board, we know her personality, she works in fraud, she’s vetted us pretty clearly. And she lent her credibility to her, her the bank owner on behalf of the organization. And so I as the CEO was able to step in, and continue to cultivate that relationship. What did that turn into? That turned into? I’m telling y’all guys, this is one of my claim to fame, that turned into being able to fly in a private plane to visit a maybe foundation in Oklahoma, and walk out with a $350,000 gift, because they had denied us originally. And I’m sitting there going, I don’t know what we’re going to do we really need this. And the committee is saying, well, let’s go and you’re Let’s go over there and talk to them. And I’m sitting there thinking, Okay, how much is that gonna cost? What you know, I gotta book flights, can I get everybody’s birthday? So I can book the flights? And they’re looking at me like, oh, no, the, the bank has a private plane. I was like, Oh, I don’t roll in those circles. Right? That’s not my normal day to day. And so I got to do that and didn’t walk out. What a $350,000. Check. What How else did that come about? Mill, the bank, um, has appointed two members of our board of directors for the last 20 plus years. And each of those board members has to raise $5,000 each. So you do the math on that, right. They also provide us with a we need a rich room for our board retreat, we use their facilities at no cost. If we have something that we want to bring attention to in the community, they allow us to pass out flyers through their Taylor system. If we’re celebrating a national week, and bringing awareness to our organization, the bank tellers wear a button that says asked me about this, and it has our logo. So all of those marketing values and all of those usages adds up to a million million dollars of what Millie raised without asking for money. So door openers are huge. And not only did she just lend us the credibility, she kept bringing to the attention, her boss, hey, this happened at the organization. All she kept updating them on the history, kept updating them on the programs and finances so that he wouldn’t know that his investment was a great investment. And that’s coming from a from a board member. So that’s 10 to 20%. Right, identify and qualify that person, may the organization a lot of money without asking for money. So imagine what a good cultivator can do. If 60% of fundraising is cultivation, right.
Unknown Speaker 29:26
A good cultivator is also going to build that relationship because people give to people. That’s the bottom line. People want to know like and trust the organizations where their money goes to. So cultivation again, it’s about building relationships before you even ask for money. They can connect the organization to cultivation about making personal contacts with prospects. So I have a five by five over here. So what does that five by five even reference? That means you have, you know, had talked about you had that list of potential donors you got you narrowed it down your door opener and all that. Well, that five by five reference that each board member will have five people that they’re building relationships with. And they’re going to touch those five people at least five times. And so there’s a top six ways of cultivating people. One is face to face is still reigns King, face to face still reigns King, taking them out to lunch, taking them out to dinner, taking them out to breakfast, meeting them in their office, meeting them in their home, I personally like meeting people in their office, because when you meet people in our office, you get most of the time for me, I got a clear picture of who they were, or I found some more commonalities. Why because in their office, usually they have up their degree, you know what college they went to. Maybe like I’m in Texas. So whether you’re an Aggie, or Longhorn, it takes you a long way in that, you know, developing that relationship, if you happen to be the same alma mater, you can talk about that if you happen to be opposing alma mater, you can talk about that you can give each other good ribbons, I have Boardman, board members who bought their pets to the office. So then helped me find out who they were and where their values aligned. Usually, that’s where they keep their collections, right? Because the spouse won’t let you keep the collection at home. Personally, I had my collection and my office because my husband was like, that’s enough, we can’t do this no more. I’ve you know, I know that people collect turtles, or they collect figurines, not not the real turtles, or they collect the cowboy figurines, or shield figurines, or whatever it is, it got me to see inside of their personalities. And when I was out and about, if I saw something that they collect, I was able to take it to them and do a pop up, oh, I didn’t come to talk about the organization’s I just saw this wanting to drop it off. And, um, you know, thought of you, that’s a touch, right? I’m calling them on the phone. That’s the touch, getting the man to volunteer in an event, you’re getting them in. And when I’m talking about a bid, I’m not talking about a special event, I’m talking about a hands on volunteer event, maybe they come in and serve as a judge for competition, or they come in and do and be a guest speaker, things like that. asking them for advice. These are all touches. And these are the top ways to touch. And so that’s what that five by five, reference. So that’s the how in that area asker, I put astern and I put side kick and wing man because again, I had a board of 21 and only three fearless females. Were comfortable making the ask, and I was okay with that. Because if you build that relationship, right, the asking part is easy. It is will you consider an investment of $10,000 in our organization to ensure that X Y and Z happens or continues to happens. And that xy and z is filled in with what aligns with their values? And how do you know their values is because you’ve cultivated that relationship? And so that’s why your chances of a yes is going to be like 80 85%. So why do I want board members there, I want board members there accompanying me because the board members have developed that relationship with with that person. And not only have they developed that relationship with that person, if they’re doing their touches correctly, they are appear to that person, and they are a volunteer to the organization. And that person understands that they’re not getting paid. They are a true volunteer board member to this organization. They are passionate about this cause and that’s what they’re there to represent. They’re there to represent that passion, that passion. Whereas I as a CEO, I was able to speak to a specific program, maybe answer a specific statistical question that they had, and then ultimately make the ask if the board member was not comfortable with it. So that’s why I refer to them as sidekicks. Right? And then of course, the final stage of fundraising is stewardship, that thanking that 15% that maintaining the relationship after you get the gift, all of that because the responsibility of fundraising does not have been is not over when you receive the gift. I can’t stress that enough. We are the heart people and nonprofit but we He do not do a good job at saying thank you, somehow that falls off our radar. And so you have to have a conscious effort and have have a system in place for the Thank you. And board members can send out send donors a thank you card or make a thank you call, they can let the donors know that their gifts are appreciated. And it makes a difference to the organization. And I had a quick system that I share with you how I got board members to help in in a systematic way for the thank you, I ended my board meetings
Unknown Speaker 35:39
with a script in pins and note cards right, and I passed them out. And every board meeting, board members would write two or three thank you notes based on that script, they would just write the note didn’t address it to anyone. And they would sign their name. And I would collect those at the end of every board meeting and had a stockpile on my desk. And so when the gift came in, I just added the name, but I got my pens back. So it’s all in same color, right? added their name, and then I signed off next to the board member. And that’s how I was able to ensure that they got their thank you note within 24 hours. So get your board members involved in the thanking. And not only that, I had a team of board members. And it was only when I say a team, it was like two or three, because you know who your board members are so lean to their strengths, who when a gift came in at a certain value, I would send them the name of the person, their contact number and a script and they would call and they would say give the person a personal thank you. Even if they didn’t answer the phone, they believe a thank you message. But tap into the strings, that is going to be the key to repeat gifts. So there are ways to engage board members hearts, mind and passion for fundraising. And you just have to figure out how to do that. Because that is the CEOs role. Their role is to focus, focus the board, their role is to inspire the board, ready the board and engage the board. So let’s talk about that. How do you focus your board? mission moments? What is the mission moment, a mission moment is taking the first I say five minutes is probably less of your board meeting, right? And having a client come in and share who they are, why they take advantage of the services or why they participate in the services. So I know certain Well, the perception is certain organizations has it easier than others when it comes to mission moments. So I happen to be in the youth services. So yes, bringing a cute kid into the board meeting and that kid telling them you know who they are and their age and their school and the board members get to ask them a couple of questions. I understand. That was cute. That board. You know, kids are cute, right? And they say the darndest things. So I get the advantage of that hat there. But again, I’ve served on a museum board. And with the museum, what they do is every board meeting, they set up a different exhibit display in the boardroom. And we act I literally look forward to it. Because I go in and I start reading about the local history. And they’re very strategic about that. A zoo board. They come in, and I’ve seen them. And I thought this was great. They bought a snake to the board meeting. Interesting. I don’t like snakes. But I can tell you this. After that little encounter, I felt a little bit better about snakes, right? Because I got to interact with the snake I got the touch the snake. I thought the slate was slimy, but it wasn’t. They ain’t my BFF now, but I did get a better understanding. And that’s what mission moments are. And if you’re that organization where you say well, we have confidentiality, you know, we are battered shelter or child abuse or whatever it is, then you have to get creative in how you tell your mission moment. You can tell your mission moment from the voice of an inanimate object and use video. Right so I worked with someone who operated in a homeless capacity and they don’t call it homeless. They kind of call it unhoused. And so I helped him craft a message from the perspective of the box right? So to go from
Unknown Speaker 39:55
living in a box and being on house and taking that going on that journey of that box to become housed and become a move moving in box and unpacking that box, and having your own vast experience, that’s what that’s what the mission moment is. And so you just have to be creative about that. And then focusing on real outcomes and results. So ending your board meeting with pictures. And but not just pictures is pictures with the outcomes like, we were able to service this many kids and our pre and post test results showed that this this increase, but always having those pictures so and putting that data in there, because some board members are data driven, right, some board members are story driven. But you satisfy both of those. And you’re making them into advocates, because when they go out, they are going to talk about the story that they heard at the board meeting. And if you have 12 or 11 board meetings a year, that’s 11 stories that they’re going to go out and share at the Rotary Club, or at the Chamber mixer, or at whatever they’re involved in. So you’re helping create advocates there, you’re gonna have to inspire your board. So you got to make resource development fun, right? That means you got to have a plan. And so one of the things that my board did was they develop their own plan. And I had a board member Her name is Susan Griffith, and I love her she was a university professor. And she did statics, statistics and data for the university. So she developed this whole system, but she got buy in from everyone before she developed it. And it might not sound like fun to you, but it was fun to them. And so they had a certain amount of points that they needed to get to. And for every $1,000 they raised, that was one point for if they served on this committee or a committee or attended this meeting, they got some other points. And so every quarter, we will put in the packet in the board packet where they were at based on the color, full disclosure, here’s a list of the board members, here’s the meetings, your attendance, how many points you got, here’s what you raise, here’s what you gain. And if you were read, you have some work to do the next quarter, if you agree, you are right on target towards your $5,000 Raise and abort your attendance. And if you were yellow, you almost made it you know, next quarter, you gotta hit it a little bit harder. Full disclosure full out there. It was an every quarter. We talked about it. But every board meeting, it was in the board packet. Right. So it’s always constantly reminding, reminding, and we sent out this, I sent out as the CEO, the board the booth called board bus. And that was if a board member attended a superintendents meeting with me, they got a shout out. If they attended. If they came in and they volunteered, they got a shout out. But every week I was sent out a board bus. And I will say thank you, Ella for doing this. And thank you, Todd for doing this. And so what that did send it to the entire board. But what that did was allow those board member members, one who weren’t not as active, to see the activities that they could get involved with, or the potential and how they can start how they could serve, right, or the board members who wanted to serve, but then know how they they could fit, they got to see that. And so we called it board buzz and then at the end of the year, we did a board member of the year. And that became a competition that became fun for them. So you got to know what your board is and lean into that. You gotta ready your board, you got to have proper tools and trainings. So 15 minutes of your board meetings 15 to 20, his board education, how you do that board education is bringing someone in to speak on a topic. Is it sitting there and working on your elevator speech? Is it breaking them up into committees and given them 15 minutes in the board meeting to break up and talk about what what the committee is working on and come back together and report to the board? Whatever that looks like for you. You got to provide them with proper tools and education and training. You got to practice right so maybe one of those board meeting education moments could be practicing for the ask. You know if everybody’s uncomfortable with asking
Unknown Speaker 44:49
three out of 21 but you really want to get more people involved and ask them to script something out. Talk about it. Have a dinner to question during your board. Meeting around that, educate them on the donor cycle. Most board members don’t know about that donor cycle. Hey, guys, if you can just give me 60% of your time and cultivation and 15% of your time and stewardship, and this is how you can do it. And this is how we can do it. And what are you willing to do? What they don’t come knowing that you have to educate them on that. And therefore, you have to educate yourself on that. And that’s why I thank you for listening in and being a part of this. And I think, Patrick, for providing this. So engage your board, give your board members the appropriate fundraising and resource development role. Are they door openers? Are they cultivators? Are they askers? Are they thinkers find out and lean into that? And how do you find out? That’s a good way. That’s a good agenda for board retreat. Right, let that that’s that’s how you find out or when you’re meeting with them. Because remember, I said you need to meet with your board members, you can ask them, it could be a part of the Board education, there are many ways to do it. And then you have to create that support structure for them. And you have to know your boards inventory. This one is critical. Again, this is why you’re meeting with them. Because they don’t understand how their inventory can help the board can help the organization. So what do I mean by this? I mean, have board members, I met with them became friends with them. I’ll show you one, Ella. Ella loved QVC absolutely love it. She will order stuff off QVC just because we went to lunch every week, she became a really good friend. Really good friend, her kids didn’t even notice. She had a whole room of QVC stuff she had just ordered. That’s a whole nother issue that she had just ordered. And I knew about the room. So when it came time for auction item stuff, or anything like that, I’d be like, Ella, I need you to tap into the QVC room and see what you got. Right. And so she got credit for whatever that auction item went for. If we when we had our events, I had another board member who has like he was just talking to talking to talking, you know, I happen to mention he had a timeshare. timeshare in Mexico. I’m like I’m struggling for live auction items. And you sitting over here with a timeshare in Mexico. Would you be willing to donate that timeshare in Mexico? Yeah, I never thought about that.
Unknown Speaker 47:51
But I knew as inventory. So whatever that auction item went for, he got credit towards his $5,000 had another board member who had a home second home in Lake Tahoe, or someone on an island or I had a board member that was a hunting I’m in Texas, y’all hunting is bid assets to a nice ranch. These are the things that you learn when you start building relationships with your board members. And knowing what their inventories are, because they don’t think like this. And so you have to think like this and file those little notes in your head in the back of your head. And not only knowing the inventory of what they have, but who they’re connected to. Right. So I had a board member who was friends with another person who had who was a private pilot. And he did trips for fun. And I’m like, Okay, well we get these concert tickets right? Through this person. And he does he’s a private pilot, he goes to Austin all the time, because that’s where his grandkids is, do you think that he would donate his service so we can put together this experience where you two people can fly exclusively in a private, you know, craft to Austin to this concert at the you see how that’s going. And then they get the credit for that. Those are the things I’m talking about. So I’m gonna wrap this up really quick, because we got about 10 minutes so we can have questions. But at the end of the day, what board members need from staff so they can fundraise easily and effectively is they they need you to equip them. Provide them with education and client stories as mission moments. Make it easy. Give them scripts with you wanting to post on social media, give it to them, give them sample letters, give them emails, be accountable, hold board members accountable for what they say they will do. It is okay. You get to hold them accountable. And it is it doesn’t make you a how do you say this? My board members used to laugh because they say they were they were my bosses or they would say you know that? And I would say you’re doing well you know you’re my boss right? And they were like Eflite 100 Sure, but no, you they are your boss. Don’t get that don’t get it wrong. So this is how that works. Sabrina, we are in a board meeting. And I Sabrina says she will follow up with Suzy, you write that down? And then you wait a couple of days. And you say, Sabrina, did you follow up with Suzy? And I’m gonna tell you right away. Oh my god, I forgot to do that. Thank you for reminding me. I’ll do it right now. Okay, wait a couple of weeks. Hey, what did Susie say, Sabrina girl, I still forgot. Let me do it. Right. And that’s how you follow up. Because what happens is, especially if you’re meeting with them, you’re building that loyalty to you, not just the organization, and that loyalty to you and not wanting to disappoint you, as the CEO will work to your benefit. And I’m not saying that because it’s something I just made up. It is something that board members have continually told me, like, hey, when you called me, you, you found it, like stop sending emails, and you picked up the phone, and you called me. I knew it was serious. And I had to get it done. So that helped me. And that’s when I don’t dedicate an hour to get what I needed to get done. And so I thank you for that. Because they’ve had a different experience, you know, of late. So you also have to be explicit, you have to be very explicit when you’re recruiting your board members. And you have to talk about the expectations, you have to talk about fundraising, you have to have that board agreement in place. And so
Unknown Speaker 51:34
how do you get started with this transformation? Again, a board retreat, board retreat will be a great way to start talking about board giving to start talking about the different roles of door openers, cultivators, askers, and thinker. And then have them brainstorm the different jobs that are related to each of those categories. But follow up is going to be key follow up, and accountability is going to be key, and then falling. After all that got their assignments, they know what they’re doing, they’re cultivating and making those five touches, they’re doing this record the information in your CRM system, don’t try to hold that information in their brain in your brain and not have a system in place to document that stuff and report back to the board, show them the fruits of their labor showed them that it is working, it might take some time, but it is working. So gonna make them feel good about the time that they’ve invested in this journey. So mission accomplished. Hopefully, you understand the role of the board and resource development and fundraising, you’ve learned how to engage your board and each of these roles. And you know how you as a staff can support board and resource development and fundraising. And that is my presentation. And this is my contact information. And I will stop the share so we can get some questions answered.
Patrick Kirby 53:03
This is why we got you to be here, Sabrina, this is the kind of information that it just I love. I love listening to you do this. Like Debbie said, it’s fun, you make this fun and interesting. This is the kind of work that we love. They’ll love hearing from you. One of the things that I took away that I constantly need to be reminded of and I think we all do, which is keep it simple. It is it is not complicated. But we think that if it’s not complicated, it must not be the right thing. Where are your vision here is if you could sum it up if I if I’m summing up the one thing, have a conversation with your board. It’s okay. It’s not like just talk to like normal people, because they’re normal people kind of thing. I mean, that’s, that is such a wonderful thing to like, maintain the your brain, then it’s okay.
Unknown Speaker 53:57
It’s okay. It is okay. And I find that sometimes, you know, founders may struggle with that. The end and or new CEOs may struggle with that. But it is okay. Have those conversations. Fundraising period is about building relationships. And you have to across the board, have those relationships with your board. And with your donor, your emotional intelligence is a skill that you need to invest in. And if you don’t have it, trust me, I struggle sometimes you get yourself a coach and you work through it. Right?
Patrick Kirby 54:35
What are we can find one of those. One of the questions that came in to and it’s actually has a lot to do with what we’re just talking about, too. It’s it’s what if you have a What have you haven’t shared expectations of the board? Right with your current board members, like the new ones, hey, we got it. But Debbie’s asking specifically like what about the others? What about the ones who’ve been around for a long time, and all of a sudden you’re now starting to introduce some of these expectations of the board. How do you start that conversation?
Unknown Speaker 55:03
Well, I say you start that conversation, hopefully you have a alignment with your board chair. Let’s start it there. And if the board chair is the problem, sometimes that is it. Hopefully you have an alignment with your board champion. So let’s start there have at least a board champion, right. And that board champion serves as your voice to the board. So it’s coming from a peer. And so it’s peer to peer, right? Not necessarily you as the CEO saying, you got to do this, and you got to do that, you know, that kind of conversation. So having a board champion that carries that message forward, for you is one great option. But then there are some board members that you may lose board members. And that may be okay. That I’m not going to maybe Okay, that is okay. How you lose them is going to determine the relationship that you continue to have with them. And as we lost board members who say you lose board members, you celebrate with them, you you make it about them, you you know thank them for their service, you give them a nice plaque. You you honor their service it and you make them feel good as they exit out. Sometimes it’s okay for them to exit out. However, as they exit out, you still want to ensure that they support the organization, right? So that’s what that cultivation is, you still call on them for advice, you still engage them in that way, so that you’re not losing a donor as well.
Patrick Kirby 56:44
I love that piece of advice. And again, there’s no reason to burn bridges. That helps you get from point A to point B. But again, it’s okay, if it’s time to go. I think I love that as a thing. All right. Well, I know you got caught up in the end of our webinar. First of all, thank you everybody for watching live watching the replay invaluable information, but I know I know you well enough, you never leave without a parting gift, or, or some sort of downloadable, that you just make available all of the stuff I just watched you enough. I know you have something up your sleeve, to offer you the floor to give our friends who are watching today,
Unknown Speaker 57:24
I do have something that I want to share. I know that a lot of people struggle with that recruitment conversation, although we were talking about engagement. I know that that recruitment conversation is a struggle for people. And so if you’re going to get to great board engagement, it really does start with recruitment. I cannot stress that enough. It really does start with recruitment. And so the link that I had, what I want to share with you is an ebook that I did on on board recruitment. And it’s a step by step guide. I really just don’t believe in people reinventing the wheel. It has links to all the documents, it has links to that agreement that I was talking about. It has linked to questions that you asked, you know, what are the questions that I asked during a Board interview, what is a board interview, um, so people don’t do those. And so I’m dropping that link there for everyone. And it’s really step by step by step. And it has links to again, board job description that you can customize for yourself. It has links to a board orientation that you can customize for yourself. So I really hope that people enjoy that ebook. And if you have any questions, you know, I’m available for to answer any of those questions as well. So Patrick, again, I thank you for letting me be here.
Patrick Kirby 58:52
No, I can’t thank you enough for your perspective and your time and your energy and your enthusiasm and just your genius. When it comes to this kind of stuff. It’s great. For those of you in the replay, we’ll have a link to the to the notes as well. So you can grab that downloadable. Sabrina, thank you. Anybody who needs to get a hold of her. We’ll have that contact information as well. Thank you so much for being here at the y’all nonprofit boot camp. Thanks for being a really amazing guest expert. Thanks for being you. And thank you for everybody else who’s watching today. We’ll see you next time here at nonprofit boot camp. Bye bye