Educate your board on how to do their work!

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 was everything you hoped for and more!


Zan Auctions ended with a bang, making 300 times more for our last client than they made the year before. How do we achieve such chart topping success? It’s all about the pre-game. My client took all of my consultation for pre-gaming The Paddle Raise, the Live, and more and hustled to make the notes become a reality, and touchdown! Now, I’ve got some information for you on pre-gaming with your Board.


We know that we rely on Board involvement for about 50% of our fundraising. That’s a huge responsibility of theirs, but have we been responsible and educated them as to how to do their work?


Cindi Phallen, an expert in Board Development recently gave a talk at the Association of Fundraising Professionals and shed some light on the matter. I’ll share some of it here with you, but to learn more from her, please visit her website at


Remind your Board:

1. Fundraising takes work, but the work can be fun! It’s all about relationship building.
2. If you believe in your organization, it should be a pleasure, not a chore to share your passion.
3. Have a personal story ready, why this is their passion. Not what we do, but why we do it.


Let’s talk about language and your Board:

4. Erase the words Ask, Give, Campaigner, and Fundraising from your vocabulary.
5. Instead let’s use Invite, Invest, Ambassador, and Outreach (aka telling stories about the org.)
6. After they have their story, then they can invite their friends to invest in the cause.


Board Success is Preparation:

7. Ask them to have their story ready, equip them with a few facts about the organization, then they “invite” their friends to join them and to “invest” in the community. See, no one is “asking” for anything.
8. Engage with potential donors ahead of time! Invite them for a tour, to volunteer, to see a program, and share success stories of the organization. Bring them in the fold, and let them be inspired as you were.


The good news, is that humans are social creatures and we want to be invited to the party! Did you know that 20% of donors would do something more if they were asked specifically to do more than invest dollars? That’s 20% who want a stronger relationship. Being a Board member is being an Ambassador of the organization, with a personal story of why their heart is in it, and Inviting their friends to Invest in the cause. Invite them to the party figuratively, and then literally! See you at the gala!



Zan Aufderheide


For a free e-book “Turn Your Board Into a Fundraising Machine” go to

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