In her excellent book,
*We forget that board members are volunteers. They are busy and don’t live the day-to-day reality of the nonprofit like staff do.
*We are waiting for board members to mobilize themselves and take initiative around fundraising. We don’t realize that they are waiting for staff to lead so they can assist.
*We don’t set clear expectations about fundraising with individuals before they join the Board. We are reluctant or vague about it.
*We start the conversation about fundraising at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Rather than jumping right into a fundraising conversation, we need to start with need and mission.
*We use a “one-size-fits-all” approach. We need to realize that different Board members will engage differently.
*We don’t know how to “manage up.” The inverse power relationship of a Board member who is of higher authority can be tricky when staff are trying to get them to do things.
In six easy to read chapters, Kathy explains how we can overcome these mistakes and empower our Boards to fundraise effectively. My favorite is Chapter Two, “Connect to Mission.” This includes ideas like making sure to include “mission moments” at Board meetings – a story of mission accomplishment or example of an impact you have made. Another great tip – hold some meetings at a location where you are carrying out your mission to make your impact real.
There are lots of other great ideas in the book and I highly recommend it. It takes focused work, but you can get your Board members to fundraise and further leverage their Mission Impact.