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Building a Fundraising Board

So. Here we are in early 2013 and we need members of the Board of Directors who are comfortable with raising money. Easier said than done. But it can be done.

We likely have a few members currently on the Board who are experienced giving and asking for gifts. There may be just a few. But this is the crew that can help you move the culture in the right direction: Willing to give and willing to ask. Getting the Governance Committee to work on the Board job description and to work on some in-service training that shows how successful Boards do this work can be very useful.

When it comes time for the Governance Committee to recruit a few new members, how can they (with executive director and development director pitching right in) identify best prospects to join the Board who will pitch in on this effort?

1. Look for candidates with experience serving with other nonprofits. Particularly ones where there were expectations about giving and getting.

2. Review list of best fundraisers who participate in your special events. Are there one, two or three names that pop out to you that are genial folks who seem very comfortable raising money through your events?

3. Talk with staff at a nearby Chamber of Commerce. Are there business people in your community who seem civic-minded? Who have demonstrated generosity with time? Interview them to see if there’s interest in your cause. If there is, you might start by inviting the individual to serve on a committee. Let them work their way in.

4. Do you have a marketing or communications professional on your Board? Is there a community-minded Realtor who has shown interest in your nonprofit? Ask if they know of a newcomer to your community who seems like the kind of person who’d like to get involved through a nonprofit like yours.

So. Use the resources you have close at hand and do some research. Build a prospect list for Board membership. And let the candidates show their stuff and work their way onto your board. It takes a bit of poking around, but with some work you can find good folks Who Get Fundraising!

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