To build capacity a nonprofit needs to engage leaders in their mission and the services and programs it provides. As leaders become more engaged they further strengthen the organization and partner to generate social change.
Often the biggest challenge is gaining potential leaders’ attention. Once they are attracted, nonprofits focus on engaging them for the long term. As the last post discussed, monthly giving programs create the opportunity to strengthen the relationship. The next step is full engagement.
Full engagement includes volunteering in the programs, board leadership, and supporting the organization with a planned or major gift. Connecting at this level is a long term process. Leaders pushing the envelope and asking before the connection is fully developed threaten to lose potential leaders. Since these are substantial gifts, the key is connecting the potential leaders’ passion and capacity to give with the organization’s mission.
Nonprofits provide leaders with the opportunity to grow their passion and make an impact on their community. By giving, leaders are an essential part of the social change the nonprofit is fighting for. Leaders want to make an impact with their money as well as their time. Most leaders start by giving what they consider a small amount. With education and engagement the gift increases and so does their impact.
Successful volunteer development plans, encourage buy-in by asking leaders how they want to participate. Capacity is a key word. Not every leader has the time, energy, ability or desire to become a board member or make a substantial financial commitment. Creating many different types of giving opportunities encourages all leaders to find a level they are comfortable with and can be accountable for.
Sometimes the commitment leads to the leader making a major or planned gift. To identify which one is right for the donor, look at the donor’s financial situation. A donor in the position to make a major gift has ample income beyond his daily needs. An organization defines a major gift by examining the donor’s and their own finances. These type of gifts stretch the donor’s ability to give and substantially increase the organization’s ability to serve.
There are many types of planned gifts. Donors interested in making a planned gift have valuable assets and may be looking for additional income. Some planned giving opportunities create a return for the donor as well as provide a gift to the nonprofit. Creating this opportunity leads to a win for the donor as well as the community.
Nonprofits and the community depend on their leaders to donate their time and financial resources. Leaders can not succeed if they are not aware or don’t understand the expectations. Communicating these expectations through a volunteer commitment form leads to a strong relationship between leaders. We will discuss this essential tool in our next post.