I came across an article about Board fundraising that is a must read for BoDs in CYT.

The idea comes from Create Possibility, a local business that helps organizations accelerate their impact. Here is the article, written by President Cindi Phallen:

“[It’s] interesting to see some of the trends continue when it comes to boards developing resources for their organizations.

[According to the Nonprofit Governance index], CEOs reported:

  • Only 56% of these organizations have achieved 100% board giving
  • Only 61% of board members are comfortable providing names for prospecting
  • At least 40% of board members don’t know what they are supposed to do

This data relates to critical functions of any successful board. So what is happening here? Ask yourself three questions:

1. What is my mindset when I consider these issues? Are there barriers which keep volunteers at arm’s length? Taking an honest look at why there are consistent issues around fundraising – the real underlying cause – is critical to initiate change. If there is a tendency to think volunteers are too busy, don’t want to commit, will get too close to operations, etc., then that will be your reality.

2. What have I done to truly develop these volunteers? The tools and resources for successful orientations, creating fundraising plans, and engaging volunteers have been around for years. Building a strong team of board members takes work and dedication, and there is no way around it. Fundraising is a team effort.

3. What is one step I can take now to improve the fundraising performance of our board? Each organization is different and CEOs and Board chairs will come up with different places to start. Don’t get hung up on what is the exact right next step….just get started.

Some steps you can take:

  • Examine what you truly believe about the board’s performance in fundraising, and be willing to consider it’s time to look at things differently. If sincere, possibilities start to become clear. Change your mind, and change your results.
  • Outline goals around resource development which advance the mission. Then outline specific tasks for teams/committees; and finally, describe the role of individuals on those teams.
  • Find examples of where it is working and share those successes with volunteers and staff so they know it’s possible to adjust and achieve goals.

The key to all board performance is deep and consistent engagement. If there isn’t an engagement and retention strategy for your organization, it’s time to create it.”

Contributed by Sheryl Russell


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