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Today we’re talking about the three things you need to effectively grow and multiply your cause. The reason why I wanted to talk on this topic is that multiplication is really what we’re all about, right? When we join or when we start up an organization, our goal here is to affect as many people as possible in a positive way. We’re trying to impact lives and help people who maybe have never been helped before. As you are thinking about how to increase donations and how do you get more people engaged, there are three things that you should really have in that plan. Whether you are the founder, you’ve been doing this for a long time, or whether you are a part of a larger organization and just got hired on as development staff, you are in the right place, today’s episode is for you.
The first thing that you need is an effective board. Some of you don’t have to worry about the board of directors but for those of you who have had to recruit one or manage one, you will find out very that this is a difficult group of people to manage because they’re not just a normal group of people. These are your bosses. They are at the top of the food chain and they can make or break your organization. It’s all about having the right people in the right seats on that bus that’s going in the direction that you want to take your organization in. This is a group of people who are basically saying that they will honor the vision and mission of this organization.
Now many times we get confused and we think that the Board of Directors should be the group of people who are raising all of our money. I believe that your board should have some skin in the game and they should be giving to your organization. And so if you have board members who are not giving their time, their money, and their resources, you should probably question why they’re serving on your board and why they’ve been allowed to stay. I just want you to be really cautious of the fact that you need to have requirements for your board. And I’m not saying that they have to be your largest givers. I’m not even saying that they have to all financially give. I’m just saying that your board has to be engaged in some way.
Number two is all about your staff. Every organization should have paid staff. I know it’s the fad in the nonprofit industry that we should have all non-paid volunteers and that this somehow means you are more efficient and makes for a better organization if you don’t have any paid staff. How many businesses are effective when people don’t get paid? Not very many. In order for you to really grow and multiply, you have to have effective staff in place.
The final thing I want you to be thinking about is your volunteers. We’ve talked about a board of directors as your volunteers. Now, our volunteers are not paid and this may be you but these are not paid positions. This is what gives credibility to your organization. You’ve got people in the community who want to give to the work that you’re doing and they’re willing to do it for free because they want to invest in what’s happening. I’ve always said volunteers give twice as much than non-volunteers. So if you want to grow and multiply, get more volunteers. Sometimes people sit back and say, “I don’t even know what to do with them?” Get creative. Some companies will actually pay to have their staff volunteer for your organization, or they will give matching gifts to one of their individuals who give to your organization. Now I want to address the advisory group here. This is something that I’m a huge advocate for. Recruit a volunteer who can serve on an advisory level for you. This is very different than a board of directors. The advisory group is all about the people who are looking at your finances and looking at your fundraising. They’re not looking at your mission. They’re not spending a lot of time thinking about how many people are being impacted. They’re thinking specifically about who can give and who can be a volunteer in the area of fundraising.
This is a really important season. It’s going to make or break organizations and it’s going to make or break people. We know that the mental challenges and keeping ourselves motivated and moving forward is tough. I appreciate you being willing to step outside of the box, try new things, and really push yourselves at a new level. Once again, your board members, your staff, and your volunteers are essential to your growth and to the multiplication of your cause. So today, let’s get down on paper what we want. And let’s go recruit volunteers who are going to help us move our mission forward.
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