Electrifying Results: Fundraising Insights to Move the Needle for Your Nonprofit

That’s Not My Job! The Board’s Role in Fundraising


Photo by Flazingo Photos.

Does your nonprofit struggle with board giving? Inevitably, most boards have at least one member who has made it clear either vocally or through their actions or inaction that fundraising is not their job or that her or his donation is given in the form of time and talent, not treasure.

How important is the board of directors’ fundraising responsibility? The University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy conducted a study of 33 donors who gave average gifts of more than $1.5 million. The 2007-2008 study asked how these individuals chose their charities. Twenty-six donors, nearly 79 percent, said knowing someone on the nonprofit’s board or peer group ranked important or very important in their decision to give.

To be successful, every member of the organization must share the task of raising money necessary to maintain operations. Anyone with the authority to approve spending a nonprofit’s resources should have a hand in raising those resources. Expecting “someone else” to be responsible for maintaining the needed revenue stream, while a board of directors waits to approve spending the money, is a recipe for trouble.

It may be difficult to change the opinions of current board members; however, as you seek and vet new board members, make sure you are up front about what is expected of them in their capacity as a board member, including making a personal financial commitment to the organization. Find a champion for your efforts from among your current board members. Board participation in the fundraising process is painless, and simple involvement opportunities, such as inviting friends and potential donors to events, joining staff on donor visits, and making thank-you calls, can get board members excited to do even more.

AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!