Board Roles in Major Campaigns
When discussing a pending major campaign, it is not uncommon for boards—at organizations of all sizes—to get nervous and to be uncertain. Many board members have not been through a campaign before. Some have been through successful campaigns. Some have encountered negative campaign experiences.
As consultants, one of our roles is to educate, coach and comfort staff and volunteers. We are in the campaign mode each and every day, working with clients. For many staff or board members, this is their first campaign—or frankly, the opportunity to conduct a campaign properly for the first time.
Questions always arise about the role of the board and board giving. Often a few board members drop off the board as the campaign nears—this is typically very positive.
We have provided counsel where the campaign committee was only a few board members and where it was nearly all board or former board—and a full range in between. So, while every board member won’t serve on a campaign committee, here are four essentials:
- The board must formally vote to embark on the campaign.
- Each board member must make a campaign commitment, commensurate with his or her circumstances.
- Each board member must help identify and cultivate (note I haven’t said ask) prospective major donors.
- Board members must be vocal advocates for the organizations—those within their sphere of influence should know that they are serving on the board and are passionate
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.