Building a Winning Team

January 23, 2017



Written By: Robin

By Robin Jordan


This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Build a winning team.


For the past few weeks, NFL teams have been in a show down to compete in the big event – the Super Bowl. The preparation for this event, however, started months ago. It all started with scouting to find and recruit the best players for their teams. Coaches invested a significant amount of time methodically selecting players, training them and creating comprehensive plans to prepare for game day.

For many nonprofit organizations, it is time for the Super Bowl of fundraising: the annual campaign. To ensure fundraising campaigns are successful, a strong, engaged board is essential. Like NFL coaches, you must select the right players to build a winning team.

Here are some helpful tips for putting together an all star team to meet your fundraising goals.

Assess the Team

To prepare for an upcoming football season, coaches must look at their teams to assess their strengths and needs. In preparation for your campaign, evaluate your current board to determine your gaps. Ask: What connections or skills do you need to have a high performing board? Who should be serving on your board and why? What gifts and talents will each individual bring to the team?

Scout and Recruit

Identification and research are important when you are assembling your team. Just like NFL coaches, you are looking for the right people to fill the positions. Involve staff and board members in developing your top prospect list for recruitment. Take time to get to know and understand your current and prospective volunteers. This strategy allows you to learn more about each individual, their passion, their skills, and to hear their story. You will discover what motivates your volunteers as well as how they want to make an impact by helping your cause.

Preparation and Training

NFL team members spend countless hours training for the chance to play in The Super Bowl. Training and preparation for your board members is an equally important task that can often be overlooked. Onboarding needs to include a detailed orientation preparing your volunteers for a productive, rewarding experience. It should clearly define their roles; giving them the tools they need to be successful.

Team Work

The most productive teams are engaged at all levels. Each individual’s talents are recognized and put to work efficiently. Give your volunteers a voice. Utilize their skills; involving them in your campaign from the groundwork through the victory party. Your team performance will be enhanced and your volunteers with stay committed to your cause. Remember to acknowledge your volunteers for their work. Let them know they are valued.


Preparing for successful fundraising campaigns requires a strong team. Like the road to The Super Bowl, the road to Annual Campaign requires assembling an effective, well prepared team. With the right players, proper training and an engaged team, you are sure achieve your goal.

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