Soaring with Board Giving as the Foundation
Create that board giving threshold and stay with it. Don't waiver. Yes, you may lose a few board members, current and potential, along the way. But this journey will lead you to ideal candidates for your governing board who can fill a profile of skills, backgrounds and demographics - and make a leadership gift. Again - don't sell those you serve short. You will have plenty of opportunities for involvement on advisory boards and other opportunities for people to contribute and grow with your organization at other giving levels.
Realize that many of your board will be asked for and will make gifts above the threshold. Set the stage with a clear set of board expectations that include board giving- call it a job description, responsibilities, a covenant, whatever you like. But make it clear what you expect of your board. Share this with potential board members and include it in your orientation.
Be sure that each year you mirror best practices by visiting with each board member - face to face - to ask for his or her annual commitment. Ask just before the fiscal year or early in the fiscal year to make it easy for those who may choose to spread out payments. Secure the commitment and then remind them. Thank them repeatedly, and demonstrate through testimonials at each board meeting the impact of their leadership, including their giving.
Then, your board - I promise - will begin to take their role more seriously. And they will be empowered to ask others to join them as joyful givers.
It is not give or get. It is giving and serving as an ambassador, telling the story and inviting others to give. And please, it is not "give, get or get off." Treat your board - and board giving - with the respect they deserve.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.