Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money

Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money

Andy Robinson & Andrea Kihlstedt

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Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money
A Cookbook of Easy-to-Use Fundraising Exercises

by Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson, 171 pp

Nonprofit boards seem universally afraid of fundraising – which is ironic since raising money is what organizations need most from their trustees.

With the publication of Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money: A Cookbook of Easy-to-Use Fundraising Exercises, much of that fear will now be vanquished.

Drawing on decades of experience, and tapping an expert team of fundraising trainers across the United States, Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson have produced an extraordinary how-to book of easy-to-use fundraising exercises for boards of all sizes.

Some activities are as short as 15 minutes, others take 30 minutes, some an hour. What’s notable is that everything you need to conduct any of the 51 exercises – step-by-step instructions, handouts, even questions to pose to participants – is included in the book.  This is handholding at its snuggest.

As an illustration, are you worried your board members, when visiting prospects, will be uncomfortable discussing your organization’s work? Turn to “What Drew You to This Work,” a 15-minute activity that puts participants at ease by having them address three questions: Why are you involved with this organization? Why is our work important to you? Tell me about a time when you saw our mission in action and what it meant to you.

Or perhaps you want to help your volunteers understand how donors make giving decisions. If so, “How High Will You Go” is a 30-minute, engaging exercise that explores the myriad factors that influence gift amounts. 

Or do you need to forcefully drive home the point that face to face fundraising is the most effective way of raising money? Then engage your board, volunteers and staff in the “Fundraising Effectiveness Quiz,” a guaranteed eye-opener for those who gravitate to special events.

Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money is a remarkable achievement by a pair of preeminent professionals dedicated to helping boards overcome the fear that impedes so many noble causes.

About the Authors

Andrea Kihlstedt has served the nonprofit sector for more than thirty years as a fundraiser, trainer, consultant, teacher, writer and speaker. She has trained nonprofit boards and staff throughout the U.S. on effective major gifts fundraising, capital campaigns, and how to ask for gifts. Kihlstedt is cofounder (with Gail Perry) of Capital Campaign Magic, providing online learning about capital campaign fundraising.

Andy Robinson provides training and consulting for nonprofits in fundraising, grantseeking, board development, marketing, earned income, planning, leadership development, and facilitation. Andy has worked with organizations in 47 U.S. states and Canada and is author of six books. They include How to Raise $500 to $5000 from Almost Anyone, The Board Member’s Easier Than You Think Guide to Nonprofit Finances, and What Every Board Member Should Know, Do, and Avoid, all published by Emerson & Church.

Table of Contents

How to Use This Book
Suggested Menus
Your Toolbox and Icons
Getting Started as a Trainer

Part 1: Reducing Barriers to Fundraising

Where Do You Stand? Fundraising Continuums
Why Do You Care?
Things You Learned About Money as a Child
What Are We Afraid Of?
Why People Give
How High Will You Go?
Instant Donor

Part 2: Debunking Fundraising Myths

Where’s the Money?
Cycle of Fundraising
Fundraising on Faith
Fundraising Effectiveness Quiz
If Money Wasn’t Scarce

Part 3: Making the Case

What Drew You to This Work?
What’s Our Mission?
Features and Benefits: What Are We Selling?
Destination Postcard
Making Headlines
The Case, Simplified
One Minute of Fame
Six-Word Stories

Part 4: Building Blocks for Success

Building a Board Fundraising Ladder
Creating a Board Fundraising Menu
Board Giving: What’s the Right Amount?
What You Measure Is What You Get
Building a Gift Chart
Creating a Twelve Week Major Gifts Campaign
How Many Relationships Can You Manage?
Fundraising on Steroids: A Fundraising Game

Part 5: Finding People to Ask

Fundraising from the Inside Out
The ABCs of Identifying Prospects
Donors All Around Us
What’s a Major Gift?
The VIP Prospect Game
Power Mapping: Who Are the Movers and Shakers?
Rating Your Prospects (Pizza and Beer)

Part 6: Asking for the Gift

Active Listening: What Did You Hear?
Ask Good Questions, Become a Better Listener
Shall We Meet? Overcoming Objections by Phone
Face-to-Face Fundraising: Structuring the Meeting
Trust Your Instincts: Six Quick Asks
Closing the Gift
Trio Ask
Stop-Action Soliciting

Part 7: After the Ask

The Gift Is Just the Beginning
Your Favorite Thanks
Thanking Donors from A to Z
After the Yes: Questions You Can Ask Donors

Part 8: Asking in Other Ways

Planning a Fundraising House Party
Fundraising House Parties: Engaging Your Board
Pitching in Public
Asking for Goods and Services