By Sarah B Lange under Boards, Fundraising on March 4, 2021

Are you frustrated by your board members’ reluctance to fundraise?

When you finally convince them to DO some fundraising, do they produce lackluster results?

Does your board fall flat even when making a contribution to your organization?

If your board it terrible at fundraising, guess what – it’s probably not their fault.

In all likelihood, it’s ours.

Yup, you and I are probably at least partly – if not entirely — to blame for our board’s failure to fundraise!

The good news? No matter whose fault it is, there are things we can do – starting right now – to help our board improve their fundraising performance! Here are three:

  1. Let’s start with board composition. Who’s on your board? Why are they there? How long have they been there? What exactly are they contributing? Please don’t keep or recruit people just to fill seats – it’s better to have a small board that’s engaged than a large board peppered with “dead wood”! If your board cares about the cause, they’re usually willing to learn the skills needed to be an effective fundraisers. Also, a strategically populated board can help you connect with a variety of donor groups.
  2. Next, let’s take a look at expectations. When you recruited them, did you explain the role you wanted them to play in fundraising, or were you afraid that’d scare them off? Did you spell out the kind of contribution you expect each year? Discussing all of a board member’s roles and responsibilities during the recruitment process goes a long way in helping board members understand what to expect and what will be expected of them, which helps them be a better board member.
  3. Fundraising is a team sport. My guess is that you don’t have an adequately-staffed development department to maximize your fundraising potential, especially when it comes to individual donors (yes, I can hear you laughing from here…). Yet my guess is that you’re not tapping your board’s potential to participate in fundraising activities. When we provide our boards with the education, training, support and coaching they need, they turn into confident as fundraisers.

Boards and fundraising go together like peanut butter and jelly. This is a group of people who care about your mission and are giving up precious time to help. In turn, we need to provide them with the skills and guidance they need to help us raise more money so that collectively, we can do more good!

I’ve got so much to share with you on Boards and Fundraising so on March 27 from 09:30 – 12:30 EST, I’ll be running a workshop called Boards and Fundraising: Yes They Can! To learn more and register, click here.


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