Annual Fund ‘Giving and Getting’ Guidelines for Your Board of Trustees
All of your organization’s fundraising campaigns must have the leadership and the financial support of your board of trustees. The most important of those development efforts should be the raising of funds necessary to maintain and enhance your organization’s programs and services year after year. This is accomplished through the annual fund campaign.
The annual fund provides the “bedrock” of reasonably predictable renewed support and is the entry level for larger gifts possible for future endowment, capital, sponsorship and underwriting campaigns and planned-giving programs. Thus, the annual fund especially requires that your trustees be in the forefront as they contribute their own funds and as they personally raise other money. To successfully raise money externally, you must first raise money internally, and that starts with your board.
* Know the giving capability of each of your trustees. Each trustee should be rated and evaluated for his or her best giving potential in the same way other, non board individuals are rated and evaluated for their suggested giving to the annual fund campaign. You always seek a realistically large — hopefully the maximum — potential gift from each of your trustees.
* A minimum gift requirement to be a trustee usually isn’t a good idea. The minimum amount could be more than some trustees — who can provide other, non-financial benefits to your organization — are capable of giving. It is necessary to have as many trustees as possible on your board who have the potential to make significant financial contributions. However, you also should encourage and accommodate a select and controlled number of others who, while not as financially able as the other trustees, have special skills enabling them to contribute their valuable expertise and leadership to your organization’s marketing, finance, law, accounting, etc., activities.
The minimum amount also might be much less than some trustees actually could give. Being asked for donations well under what they could provide usually means your trustees will settle at those lower amounts. In those instances, when you ask small, you get small from trustees who have the capability to give you much bigger gifts.