Nicolas Gaudreau

For fundraisers, “raising” an organization's board of directors can be just as difficult and as important as raising a dollar.

Many fundraisers make strides every day in turning their boards from grassroots groups of committed people to professional business boards in the hopes of making their organizations better. But this is no simple task. It can be a difficult transition for the board, but it’s a great opportunity for the organization to groom a dedicated group of volunteers. Here are some steps you can take to do just that. Some of the examples are drawn from my own experience with the Church Street School for Music and Art, so the details are education-related, but the root of the advice is applicable across missions.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten in regard to fundraising? “Treat all donors with the same level of respect whether they give you a nickel or a million dollars because it’s the right thing to do and because you never know. That small donor may leave you $1 million. [And] the donor is always right. They have the money, and you’re trying to convince them to give you some. When you are giving away money, you’ll make the rules.” — Joan Woods director of development, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice “Do your research. Know your donors’ needs. Know your needs. Dress

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