According to a study by Nonprofit Governance Index, the boards of nonprofit organizations hold the gold medal for inefficiency. While we all generally strive to be #1, this particular title is not the type we should be proud of. Don’t worry (too much), this is both good news and bad news. Usually, you can choose whether you want the good or bad news first, but since i’m in the driver’s seat, we’re going to tackle the bad news first.
The sad truth is NPO boards are not as efficient as they can be. Even if your board members are giving some of their time, as well as donations, are you really leveraging their abilities to the fullest? If you stop and think of different ways they can further your efforts, you may realize you have missed out on a lot of opportunity. The good news is you are part of Charidy Academy, and we’ve got your back..
What most people don’t realize is there’s so much opportunity for members to get involved outside of meetings. Every board encompasses its own universe, its own dynamic. As leadership in the organization, it’s your job to define and establish the guidelines and individual roles for participation as early as possible.
Inspiring your board to actively fundraise can be an intricate process. Studies performed by the Non Profit Research Council reveal that board members who are clear about their minimum requirements are far more successful and motivated.
Consider implementing some of these different minimum requirements with you board members:
- Provide names and contact information of potential volunteers.
- Encourage them to ask friends, family or business associates to get involved with the organization.
- Provide or secure corporate sponsorship funding for events.
- Personally make the introduction between the organization and a prospective donor through email, call or other ways.
- Set a minimum donation requirement.
- Ask them to commit to chair/host a certain amount of events.
- Commit to a specific fundraising committee ( Capital campaign, special program etc).
- Commit to joining a campaign operations room for high profile (hint: platform that rhymes with shmaridy).
It is critical to empower them to contribute in more ways than one, not just with their checkbooks. By setting these guidelines at the start, you will create realistic expectations for both you and your board members, eliminating the turbulence and inaction that comes from undefined requirements.