Getting Board Members to Give
3. The right CEO or ED
Those interviewed had so much to say about this important piece of the puzzle. The "right" CEO/executive director means something different to every organization, but this person must always be vocal and visible, dedicated to the cause, articulate in his or her presentation of mission, and available - as a partner and a friend - to the board. If not, there is no chance for harmony and little chance for success in fundraising.
4. Social time
With so many high-powered board members, you may be tempted to race through meetings, conscious of their valuable time. But what most board members really want is some social time with their colleagues on the board. I know that some of my closest friends are fellow board members. We've been through a lot together, and without time to share thoughts, bond with allies and get to know one another, our board (and our relationships) would have been weaker for it.
5. Trust and transparency
This one is simple: If you want your board to trust you, don't hide things from it. As all great PR executives know, the warts and scars will pop up eventually. Get board member -finances, history, personal conflicts - out on the table so board members can ask questions and understand the issues completely. Letting them find out on their own will squelch any chance you have to build trust and will sow the seeds of doubt for as long as they serve.
6. The right kind of ask
Those who've served on a board know why they're there. "Join our board" can be loosely translated into "Show me the money." But, just because they know you need their money doesn't mean you need to make them feel that way. Instead, show them that you value them - not just their money - before you ask for their gifts (even if they're expecting the ask).