I have volunteered my time for non-profit boards before. During those times, I was in the throes of fundraising too. Typically, everyone on the board made a list of targets and you would go after those targets for a financial contribution or a gift in-kind.
Now seeing the other side of it while working with my client, Kananaskis Nordic Spa , I realized that I seldom thought deeper about the problem that we, as a non-profit board, were trying to solve for our targets.
I know! Marketing 101, right?
You see, we get at least thirty requests a month for free passes to the spa, and 99% of them are a templated ask. There seems to be some lost potential. We can do so much more together.
Companies are looking to partner with community organizations that share the same values that they do.
At the spa, we talk about the brand every day. We talk about the things that are important to us as a brand. For us, it’s three things:
- Being the Canadian take on Nordic spa;
- Leveraging the natural beauty of Kananaskis; and
- Focusing on wellness rather than pampering.
That connection to charities needs to go deeper than just caring about the same things. We look for partners that want to help us develop and grow an idea. To build a platform, nurture it, and perhaps even co-create something together.
The challenge always tends to be about having time. If you sit on a board today and you are reading this, I feel you. You are likely volunteering time you don’t have. But when I sat in your seat, I wish I was more narrow in scope and more deep in focus. Not everyone on that target list is going to be a fit. Cut that list, focus on those three or four organizations that are left, then be really strategic about building something great.