Dear board volunteers . . . Can we stop the paralysis by analysis, please?

mardi gras mask8DonorDreams blog is honored to be hosting the May 2013 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme this month is “Dear board volunteer . . .” and the idea is “If you could write an anonymous letter to a nonprofit board about something they do that drives you crazy, what would that letter look like and what suggested solutions would you include?” If you are a blogger and would like more information on how to participate and submit a post for consideration, please click here to learn more.

I wanted to expand the Nonprofit Blog Carnival concept in May. So, I reached out to real non-profit professionals and asked them to also write an anonymous letter to their board volunteers. These people are executive directors, fundraising professionals, board members, donors, community volunteers, consultants and front line staff. I promised everyone anonymity in exchange for their submissions.

We will celebrate May’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Up to that fun-filled day, I will publish real anonymous letters every day from real non-profit professionals right here at DonorDreams blog.

I hope you enjoy this real look at real issues that our community deals with on a daily basis.

Here is today’s letter:

Dear Resource Development Committee,

I would like to thank each and every one of who have given so much time, effort and discussion to our new Resource Development Plan. The countless meetings and suggestions on what the appropriate sponsorship level should be for each event has truly been riveting. I am glad that we spent 28 months analyzing the numerous drafts. I also consider the six months of research on organizations within a 625-mile radius a productive use of my time.

I understand the concerns expressed by several board members that if we increase the hole sponsorship or foursome by the astronomical sum of $25.00, we might jeopardize the fundraising of the entire organization. “I told you so” is always a possibility, but if we get unanimous approval, I am confident that we can overcome the steep increases and have successful special events that will generate sufficient income for us.

Maybe we could analyze this plan for a few more months before bringing to the full board and wait for the Marketing Committee to roll out their plan. I am so confident that the new PR plan will be so well received that our RD plan will be a perfect fit. We probably will not have to make any of those dreaded face-to-face asks and not even bother with the time consuming thank you letters.

The goal of a 1.8% increase in giving is not a reach if we stick to the plan and depend on my staff to accomplish it. We are more than willing to make the calls for you due to your hectic schedule and being uncomfortable with asking for money.

If this plan does not work (in which case I would be shocked), I do have a few suggestions for the next one:

  • No more paralysis by over analysis. Let’s create a plan knowing that it is not perfect and we may have to “tweak” it once or twice.
  • Make it an action plan with specific steps and dates and hold Directors accountable to them.
  • Cultivate and get to know our potential donors so we know what they want and what motivates them to give (one size does not fit all when it comes to giving).
  • There is no “magic” marketing plan . . . show the outcomes of the organization but most importantly show the donor our facility.
  • Complete a 12-month stewardship calendar for different levels of cultivation.

I have a few other ideas, but those will have to wait just in case our original plan succeeds.

Thank you for all your support,

Really? All that over a $25 increase?

If you have some advice for the author of our anonymous letter, please share it in the comment box at the bottom of this post in a respectful manner.  If you want to submit an anonymous letter for consideration this month, please email it to me at the address in your signature block below.If you are a blogger looking to participate in this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival and want to learn more, then please click here.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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