Isn’t the holiday season wonderful? People are so generous and thoughtful. In fact, the Network for Good Online Giving Study* found one third of all online giving to nonprofits happens in December. What surprised me, though, was that two thirds of the December online giving occurs December 30-31st!

I hope your year-end fundraising efforts have met or exceeded your expectations—or will soon!
But . . . what about the rest of the year?

As we begin a new year, here are a couple of tips for how you as the Executive Director or board leader can leverage your board members to help keep resources flowing and growing throughout 2016.

1. Take stock of your donor retention and focus more on stewardship versus donor acquisition! Board members can really help with this by “adopting a donor” for the year. With just a quarterly personal touch (coffee, a card), your board members can really leverage your efforts to keep and engage donors. Added bonus: board members will feel empowered about fundraising without have to make the dreaded “ask.”

2. Focus on relationships. Social capital is the asset you have by virtue of your relationships. The key to maximizing this for your nonprofit is leverage. As the Executive Director, you can’t cultivate all the relationships yourself! Invite your board members to help. You never know what resources can flow from relationships – in kind contributions (services, supplies, equipment etc. etc.) – are in some cases more valuable to you than cash. What resources do you need and what relationships are “attached” to them? Who on your board can help?

3. Increase staff productivity and well-being without money! Your staff are a key asset. If you are like most nonprofits, about 80% of your budget goes to personnel costs. What if you could increase productivity without additional monetary investment? You can! We know from research that mindfulness practices create well-being and increase productivity without staff needing to work harder or longer. One key way that board members can contribute is to partner with you in staff recognition and appreciation – very valuable to staff and, along with encouragement to engage in mindfulness, you can expect to do more with what you have without burdening anyone.

I encourage to think beyond money and see how you can engage your board to leverage more resources for your nonprofit in the coming year.

I wish you and your loved ones a healthy, prosperous, and joyful New Year!

Be sure to let me know what you think by commenting below!

*Network for Good and True Sense Marketing, Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships,

Photo provided by: Tanya3597