Effective Fundraising: Staff Does Heavy Lifting

This is my third in a series of posts about the role of the board in fundraising. In this post, a board member describes their role as Fund Development Committee chair. They also broadly address how board members can be involved in fund development and the necessity of having staff do the heavy lifting. In my last post, a board member explains the importance and impact of connecting an organization’s values to their fundraising plan. In the previous post, a board member outlines ways donors can contribute to a successful capital campaign. Board Members Play Different Roles in Different Size… Read more

Fundraising and Values

In my last post, I shared a story about a successful capital campaign where volunteer board members learned the many options for making a stretch gift. In this post, I also share a success story, where a board felt more comfortable about fundraising when the organization’s values were linked to the fund development plan. Fundraising Does Not Have to Undermine Your Values By a Volunteer Board Member Somewhere in the US I have been on many boards and done a lot of fundraising both as a volunteer and as a professional. I was on the board of an organization that… Read more

Fundraising

This post is the first in a series about fundraising. Fundraising is an important responsibility of every board. But it is also a tricky one because most people don’t like to fund raise. I talked to a handful of board members and nonprofit staff to ask them about the role of the board in fundraising. The answers are varied and depend on the size and the age of the organization and the capabilities of staff and board members. Notably – and not surprisingly – when I did outreach for stories about boards in general, I got dozens of stories. But… Read more

How Do You Know That?

After my last post which encouraged board members to ask hard questions, several readers asked what questions? Board members need full information to make good decisions. And that means asking lots and lots of questions – the ones that break out of group think, that uncover hidden issues, and that get to the essence of unseen problems or opportunities.  I started brainstorming questions and came up with a very long list. So, I decided instead to share just a few really key questions. I organized them in five areas: finance, program, funding, staff, and board. But you will see that… Read more

Getting Board Members to Do Things

Board members are volunteers. Organizations select them because they have specific skills or connections or because they represent groups whose input is valued by the organization. Some board members are donors, some are connectors, and some are doers. Many fit into more than one category. But what happens when board members say they want to be more involved but then don’t step forward when asked? In this story, one board chair shares her frustration with board members who never raise their hands. She suggests making assignments and taking care about who you ask to join a board. My advice to… Read more