Make It Personal With Your Board
Your board should be your top resource. Advisors. Experts. Influencers. Ambassadors. Challengers. Donors.
To get the best out of this stellar group, you have to connect with board members in a personal way. Yes, they need to be dedicated to your mission, and you need to help deepen their mission and organizational commitments.
While the core of their relationship as board members is tied to your organization — and should transcend the leadership of any staff member — as CEOs and other fundraising professionals we need to connect with our board members on a personal level.
We invest time in what is most important to us. There is no replacement for time invested in our boards. Face-to-face visits are most effective. We challenge clients to have at least two in-person visits with each board member each year. Too many organizations rely on board and committee meetings and formal communication to keep their boards engaged.
Beyond getting board members involved on committees and asking for their advice, make a personal — yet professional — connection. Develop a genuine relationship and get to know them, their careers, their families. Know their dreams and aspirations.
I serve on several boards. The CEOs that have reached out and are most connected with me get return calls within minutes. I reach out and ask them how I can help. They have invested in helping me understand their missions and their organizations, but they have also gotten to know me and show that they care and appreciate me.
Reach out and deepen relationships with your board! Get your calls returned right away, and have your board members asking, "How can I help?"
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.