In my next series of articles, we’ll explore what most of our colleagues see as one of the most important and challenging issues:  board engagement in fundraising.  Unfortunately, the news is not positive. As you will see from national studies quoted in the articles, board engagement in fundraising is not anywhere near where it should be.  These articles will give you concrete ideas to get your board fully engaged in fundraising.

Lackluster Board Engagement in Fundraising

Recent studies show lackluster results when it comes to board participation in fundraising:

  • Only 46% of charities have 100% participation in fundraising.
  • 33% of board members said they are very uncomfortable asking for money directly.
  • 40% of CEOs said board members are reluctant to participate in fundraising.

In fact, board members rated fundraising as the lowest scoring area of performance among the board’s basic responsibilities. This trend is not only alarming, but also a hinderance to the overall effectiveness and growth of the nonprofit’s mission.

Building a High-Performing Board

In most situations, boards are not currently engaged as needed. The staff holds the responsibility of building and training the board to increase its engagement. The first step is to know the characteristics of high-performing boards so that leadership can adopt these characteristics as needed.  Strong fundraising participation is a key measure of a high-performing board.

It is essential that we create and nurture a fundraising culture that naturally encourages boards to participate fully.  Assessing the current state of your board’s fundraising efforts can help you determine which steps you should take to get them more engaged.  The board will begin to move into a high-performing mode as it becomes more engaged in this process.  As a result, your organization can move from good to great because of the support and additional funding available.

Closing the Gap: Engaging Board Members in Fundraising

75% of CEOs surveyed report that “expectations related to fundraising are clearly explained during recruitment.”  And yet, 40% of these same CEOs report that boards “rely mostly on CEO and staff for fundraising efforts.” This “reality” gap needs to be closed through focused training and support. Our team at Mirenda & Associates offers the experience and tools needed to take your nonprofit to the next level. Contact us to learn more about the training and resources that can help you create strong nonprofit leadership.