What exactly am I supposed to do?

Part two of two part series on board fundraising responsibilities


What exactly am I supposed to do?A board member’s fundraising responsibilities are general and specific. Last week we shared three general tips. These are: know your nonprofit, know your role and know your fellow board members, and make your own gift first, then ask others to join you. If you read closely you will notice that we provided a lot of questions for board members to ask themselves, the executive director and their fellow board members. This week we share ten specific responsibilities you can take action on.

  1. Make a personal gift. Make it meaningful, more than a token gift. Your gift should be one of the largest you make each year, and should reflect your commitment to the organization.
  2. Raise three times the amount that you give. Ask others to join you in giving at the same level – or greater.
  3. Don’t go it alone. Work with a fundraising partner. Create teams within your board, and then add a few non-board members to your team. You don’t have to be a board member to raise funds for an organization. In fact some people would prefer to be involved with fundraising and not serve on the board.
  4. Solicit major gifts. In most cases it will take as much time and energy to solicit a $100 gift as it will to secure a $1,000 gift. Focus first on those who can give at the higher levels.
  5. Host an event at your home, office or house of worship. Make sure you have partner. Invite coworkers, friends, neighbors and family. Share your organization’s story and opportunities to get involved and give. Pay for the costs of the event;, don’t ask for reimbursement. Do this at least once each year.
  6. Participate in fundraising solicitations. Accompany the executive director or development director on visits to potential donors. When appropriate, consider making the ask. Take the lead in following up.
  7. Give and help secure in-kind gifts and services. These can include legal services, accounting, web design, social media, facilitation, printing, airline tickets, housing and more.
  8. Cultivate potential donors. Take the time to talk with people who have the combined interest and ability to give. Share the story of your organization. Invite them to an event. Introduce them to engagement opportunities.
  9. Collectively raise 10% to 20% of the annual budget. As a board commit to raising a percentage of the organization’s budget. Figure out your strategies and methods. Put these into action.
  10. Meet monthly to advance fundraising-related activities of the board. These won’t happen on their own. You need to plot, plan, report, respond, and adjust your strategies to meet your goal on time.

Don’t wait to be asked to do something. Take the initiative and give without being asked. But don’t give small, consider giving over and above what might be expected. In terms of the other nine items, be proactive, but don’t start any fundraising without coordinating your activities with the board and the executive!

Check out Part One – Three Fundraising Tips for Board Members 


Mel and Pearl Shaw welcome the opportunity to work with you and your board. Call us at (901) 522-8727 to explore how we can support your fundraising.

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