How to Recruit the Best Committee Members for Your Capital Campaign
Recruiting the right committee members for your campaign is important because they will bring valuable skills, connections, and energy to your campaign, while the wrong ones can drain resources, frustrate staff and volunteers, and even slow the progress of your campaign. The last thing you want is for a bad volunteer to sour the experience for good volunteers.
When considering who to recruit for your campaign committees, take time to explore options. You don’t need to begin with a full-blown committee. In fact, you can add volunteers along the way.
It will be important to take time to identify the characteristics and traits necessary for success, including diversity of race, gender, skills, and talents on your committee.
What Makes a Good Campaign Committee Member?
There’s no one-size-fits-all committee member. In other words, most committee members will be stronger in some areas than others. While it’s nice when you do find a unicorn, most volunteers fill certain needs and disappoint in other areas.
An ideal campaign committee member is:
- Passionate about your organization’s mission.
- Has the skills and connections to help you achieve your fundraising goals.
- Willing to commit time and energy to the campaign.
- Have a strong network of contacts and be open to using those networks to help spread the word about your cause.
They should also be able to work collaboratively with other committee members, staff, and volunteers, and be willing to take on a leadership role in the campaign.
6 Qualities of the Best Campaign Committee Members
Here are some characteristics that can make a committee member especially effective.
1. Experience: Committee members who have experience with fundraising, and specifically capital campaigns, can bring valuable expertise to the campaign.
2. Connections: Committee members with strong connections to the local community, industry, or donor base can help open doors and bring in new supporters.
3. Communication skills: Committee members who can effectively communicate your organization’s mission and goals to others can help generate excitement and enthusiasm for the campaign.
4. Passion: Committee members who are genuinely passionate about your organization’s mission are more likely to put in the time and effort needed to ensure the campaign’s success.
5. Responsiveness: Committee members who do what they say they are going to do and respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner make the experience of working with them positive and enjoyable.
6. Leadership skills: Committee members who can inspire, motivate, and guide others can help keep the team focused and on track.
In Contrast, What Makes a Bad Committee Member?
On the flip side, there are several traits that can make a committee member less effective or even detrimental to the campaign’s success. Not surprisingly, these include:
- Lack of commitment
- Poor communication skills
- Not a team player
Concrete, Specific, Clear Roles Help Volunteers Succeed
Many campaign leaders make the mistake of believing that they need to recruit an enormous committee from the start for the duration of the campaign. That’s a mistake, because most people don’t want to commit to three or more years of service. Also, you won’t have constructive roles for many people over such a long period of time.
The worst thing you can do is recruit a great committee member and then not have anything for them to do or burn them out by expecting they serve too long. Volunteers don’t need to serve on your committee only to listen to boring campaign reports every month or be expected to do things they are unhappy doing.
Instead, think about your overall campaign committee as a series of ad hoc sub-committees. Recruit volunteers who fit the needs of a specific task, such as volunteers who are good at soliciting gifts for your quiet phase, leadership level gifts committee, and different volunteers who love to plan events for your public phase kick-off committee.
Not every volunteer needs to serve for the full duration of the campaign but can come and go as needed.
Each volunteer can be listed on your overall umbrella campaign committee, but that doesn’t mean they need to have volunteered for the actual full duration of the campaign.
Aim to Include Diversity on Your Committee
It’s important to consider diversity when recruiting committee members for your capital campaign. A diverse committee can bring a wealth of experience, skills, and perspectives to your campaign.
Think outside the box and your normal network to recruit people of different races, genders, ages, skill sets, and more to ensure a well-functioning, well-networked committee.
Recruiting the best committee members for your capital campaign can make a big difference in the success of your fundraising efforts. So put in the effort now — it will pay off BIG time later on.
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