It is a given that a nonprofit boards exists to serve a very serious function, and there are constitutions and bylaws meant to ensure that fact and make it well known.
What is not always as well known is the importance an auxiliary board can have for a nonprofit.
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 auxiliary boards are usually formed for a specific purpose, and they can be standing or limited to a certain time.
Regardless of purpose or life-span, auxiliary boards can be extremely helpful in fundraising, but they must be aware of the following considerations:
- Defining the purpose. Both the organization at large and the auxiliary board should be able to clearly articulate why the group exists. For example: What can we do that no other group within the organization can do? Why were we formed? * Is that purpose still relevant?
- Engagement, recruitment, retention, attrition. Not just keeping members, but keeping them involved.
- Accountability and communication. Auxiliary groups take time. There needs to be a win/win for the organization and the volunteers. Because auxiliary groups often raise funds through events or appeals, measuring return on investment is key, in terms of both direct and indirect cost. A scorecard can be utilized to measure success.