4 lessons for board members

March 26, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

What’s the board’s role in fundraising? Funny you should ask because the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) recently released a new publication titled “The Board’s Role in Fundraising.” In it, Trish Jackson, the executive director of college and foundation partnerships at the Fullbridge Program in Cambridge, Mass., and a former associate vice president for individual and organizational giving at Dartmouth College, offers key lessons for board members:

  • Fundraising is a team sport so all players must know their roles. The board’s role might be oversight in most cases but when it comes to fundraising, individuals must be willing to assume individual assignments and get involved.
  • Successful fundraising is strategic and mission focused. The more worthy the mission, the more successful people perceive the institution operations, the more likely they are to give.
  • Listening and coordination are essential. Most board members are “connectors,” sitting on other boards in the community. Careful listening and coordination are essential to keep fundraising ideas focused on strategic priorities.
  • Well-informed board members make better ambassadors. Board members with compelling stories that engage interest in and understanding of the good work of a university can inspire generous giving.