I’m often asked, “How do we get our board to help us with fundraising?”
And my answer is: Not all of your board members should or are able to help you ask for financial gifts. If you want them to speak about your organization with passion, sharing stories about those you serve, invite others to do specific things AND feel great about their board experience, then YOU have to make sure to support them and communicate clearly how they can best serve.
“The total process by which an organization increases public understanding of its mission and acquires financial support for its programs.”
~ Source: AFP Fundraising Dictionary, (Association of Fundraising Professionals)
I believe development is everyone’s job: Staff, board, volunteers, clients, neighbors, vendors, donors.
Rather than finger pointing about what’s NOT getting done, my coaching is to notice and give a shout out to what IS working. Find time to thank, acknowledge, fist-bump, or high-five those people on the board who ARE doing exactly what was outlined in their orientation.
Communication is key to creating a board experience that’s interesting, exciting, and enjoyable.
My motto: “It is 100% staff responsibility for board members to be great. AND 100% board responsibility to do what we said we’d do.”
There are many, many good resources to help you train, excite, and engage your board. Taking time to add in some professional development training for THEM is as important as it is to add in time to train your staff.
Here are some of my picks for good reads with terrific resources:
8 Characteristics of An Outstanding Board Member – Bloomerang
Terrible Board Members are Created, Not Born – GuideStar
An Open Letter to Nonprofit Boards from Your Staff Leadership
10 Tips for Engaging Your Board