Participation other than fundraising

February 2, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

The standard requirements for a nonprofit board member are fairly well known: commitment to the cause, willingness to attend meetings and offer constructive ideas, donating money, getting friends to donate money, donating more money, getting more friends to donate more money, finding ways to get more friends to donate more money, donating more money.

It is also well known that many board members are comfortable with fundraising responsibilities and many are not.

As reported in “Advancing Philanthropy” the publication of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, however, Julia Ingraham Walker, a fundraising consultant argues that not every board member is a natural fundraiser and it might not be a good idea to force every one of them into the role. She suggests other possibilities for board members:

  • Become better educated about the needs of the nonprofit. This allows members to better explain those needs to constituents and prospects if a fundraising opportunity comes along;
  • Review lists of prospects and bring new names to staff. This helps bring prospect files up to date while helping board members build relationships with the research staff;
  • Lead tours of the nonprofit’s planned or existing facilities;
  • Host social events in their homes;
  • Speak about the organization in public; and,
  • Accompany fundraisers and executives on calls.
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