Happy New Year from Schonfield Consulting! Since several of our clients wrapped up successful fundraising efforts in 2023, we’re focusing this newsletter on fund development and what your organization can do in 2024 to increase your impact.
We’d love to hear from you about your fundraising successes or challenges in 2023 and where you’re headed in 2024.
As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s powerful legacy this week, here’s to a new year of peace, impact and positive change ahead!
Anne and the Schonfield Consulting Team
Fundraising 101: How to Fully Engage Your Board
When we interviewed a new client in late 2023, one of their initial questions was how to more effectively involve their Board in fundraising. This client recently held a successful gala event (with a lot of Board support and involvement) but wanted to further engage the Board. Here are some tips:
100% Board giving: Many organizations have an implicit understanding that their Boards will help raise funds, but don’t explicitly specify that in Board job descriptions or recruitment. We suggest that 100% of Board members commit to “give or get” donations — they can either give personally or work with staff to approach donors. The amount of each Board member’s donation isn’t as important as the fact that 100% of the Board contribute whatever they can financially.
The power of asking: Many Board members are willing to help raise funds, but are reluctant to ask or don’t know how to ask donors for support. We often advise clients that there are many potential donors who want to support your organization’s hard work, but if you don’t ask, they won’t give! We train Boards on how to ask most effectively and work with staff on clear instructions to Boards for how and when to cultivate donors.
With the right training and skills, your Board can be a powerful fundraising tool for your organization!
Client Spotlight: Berkeleyside
Berkeleyside is a pioneering nonprofit digital news platform reporting on arts, business, culture and other breaking news in Berkeley and the Bay Area. Along with its “sister site” Oaklandside, they reach over 500,000 readers each month, with high impact, local news coverage. We’ve worked with Cityside (parent organization of Berkeleyside + Oaklandside) since early 2020 on fundraising support, including foundation strategy, prospect research, and donor outreach. We helped Cityside to identify 50+ “best fit” foundations, and continue to work with their team on how to most effectively approach funders. With our support, Cityside raised significant funding from foundations and other donors in 2023.
Need support with your fundraising or strategic plan?
We can help!
Schedule a free consultation.