8 questions for auxiliary board leaders

May 11, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Whether to assist long-range operations or implement a one-time effort, auxiliary groups can prove to be a big help to nonprofits, often easing the burden of staff or boards of directors and often helping with fundraising.

During the Association of Fundraising Professionals international conference, Sharon Tiknis of The Alford Group, Sara Irmen of Children’s Home + Aid and Emily Lohse-Busch, formerly of The Alford Group, said that for nonprofits to derive the maximum benefit from the formation of an auxiliary entity both organizations and members of those groups must be able to answer important questions.

The key questions for the organization are:

  • Does a structure work better than just engaging individuals to accomplish this task?
  • What resources are we willing to invest in this new structure?
  • What is our sustainability plan?
  • Do we have volunteers or prospects in mind to launch this group?

For the group or prospective members, the following questions must be answered:

  • How does the organization maximize the auxiliary structures within the organization?
  • What are the main points of tension/challenges the organization has encountered with its auxiliary structures?
  • How does the organization measure the impact of its auxiliary structures?
  • How do staff interact/communicate with the organization’s auxiliary groups? How does the governing board communicate?