Committees, such as those for planned giving, usually begin with a burst of fervor but often veer off course or collapse under their own weight.
A planed giving committee can bring in big results, however, and John Elbare, founder and owner of Florida Philanthropic Advisors LLC, in Sarasota, Fla., offers several tips on making committee work an enjoyable experience for the members and a successful for the organization. Elbare recommends these initial steps:
- Mission statement. Make this statement of purpose clear and focused, and make sure the committee members see it.
- Job description. Write out a clear job description as a way to manage expectations.
- Leadership. Recruit an energetic chairperson, someone committed to the organization, possibly a former board member. Rely on this person to help compile a prospect list of potential volunteers and make key initial recruitments.
- Volunteer recruitment. Recruit a diverse group, including attorneys, CPAs in tax practice, financial planners, life insurance agents, trust officers, stockbrokers and real estate agents.
- Ideal committee member. Seek out volunteers who really care about the organization and are eager to contribute their time and expertise.
- Orientation. Be sure to provide a solid orientation for all new members. Familiarize them with the organization, its services and programs, its case for support and the fundraising plan.