The Accidental Fundraiser

Amuse Em Use Em or Lose Em, The Board and Fundraising

I recently did a board retreat with a dynamic foundation board. The development director was tearing her hair out trying to get trustees to show up. The folks who did show were amazing. They were CEO’s, dedicated community volunteers, people of wealth and affluence and influence. I was wowed. The “A Team was in the building. The problem: They were being asked to work on a golf tournament. Period. Not only that, if you deducted staff time, they were making  about $11.00. It was a classic example of a race horse being asked to pull a beer truck. The power balance to the mission was off kilter.

What would get the whole team together? A massive goal that matched the talent pool. One of the members had just funded a building for a hospital that will bear his and his wife’s names. He alone could have written the check for the golf tournament gross amount and everyone else could have gone to jazzersize or watch reruns of the West Wing.

If they don’t get these folks excited, use their talents they will for sure lose these dynamos. The questions: Does your fundraising goal match your board? Too staggeringly high and they will feel overwhelmed. Too low and they will disengage.
You can bring this up with the board as a whole, or ask them individually. The questions are:
1. Is our fundraising goal going to meet our organization’s needs to drive our mission?
2l Do we have the right people in the room to achieve this?
3. Are we using you, our board member, effectively?

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, wanting to spread all this talent

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December 9, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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