The answer is simple – everyone! The Executive Director, the Board of Directors, the staff, and even the volunteers all play a critical role in generating revenue (aka, fundraising) for the nonprofit organization. Often, the above stakeholders involved in nonprofits spend too much time pointing fingers at who else is responsible instead of getting to work and raising money.
The issues and causes that stakeholders support and are passionate about are too important to waste time pointing fingers. Instead, here is a quick overview of the critical role that each stakeholder can play in growing and diversifying funds for your cause:
The majority of an Executive Director’s time should be spent fundraising. As the leader, the Executive Director carries the vision for the organization and inspires stakeholders to raise money with them. In addition, the Executive Director is responsible for talking with major donors, corporations and foundations.
Board of Directors
The fundraising expectations for the Board of Directors should be articulated in their job description and hopefully will include a “give or get” policy. At a minimum, the Board member is responsible for committing the minimum amount set in the job description. A nonprofit would be remiss if they stopped there and did not take full advantage of the Board members’ network and relationships. Therefore, the Board members should also be involved in soliciting gifts from major donors and foundations.
A nonprofit may have specific staff, such as Development Staff, that are specifically tasked with fundraising. However, everyone on the team should know that fundraising is still a part of their job. All staff should be trained in sharing the “30 second elevator pitch” for the organization and informed on the top priorities for the organization. As staff are out in the community at committee and partner meetings, their eyes and ears should be attuned to potential new opportunities that may be shared, such as a grant opportunity at a foundation, interested donors, and best practices to consider.
Volunteers and Your Fans
Some say that it takes a village to raise a child. At Transform Consulting Group, we say that it takes a community of committed stakeholders to make a difference. All nonprofits have a legion of committed volunteers and fans (think of all of your followers on Facebook and Twitter) that also believe in the work that you are doing and impact you are making. Your volunteers and fans should be raising money for you via your website, Facebook and Twitter pages. They read your campaign emails and social media posts and click to donate as well as share with their network.
Fundraising is relationship building. It is not a top-down or bottom-up approach. Fundraising is community organizing.
At Transform Consulting Group, we help organizations get clear about their purpose and goals. Contact us today for a free consultation on your fundraising efforts!