7 Rules For Board Members’ Fundraising

Most nonprofit executives are aware of the need to include board members in fundraising, either through their own donations or solicitations of friends and business associates. Many such managers approach the task by making up the process as they go along.


As reported in “Advancing Philanthropy,” the publication of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Gail Perry, president of Gail Perry Associates, wrote that there are seven specific rules by which a manger can make it happen, simply and successfully.


Rule No. 1: Show why board members need to give generously. Make the philosophy clear.

Rule No. 2: Be clear about expectations. Say what is expected, both orally and in writing, and be sure board members agree.

Rule No. 3: Get board members to solicit other board members. When the time comes, get out of the way and let someone else do it.

Rule No. 4: Give the subject of board donations lots of visibility. Report regularly and clearly on the status of board gifts.

Rule No. 5: Take charge of the process. Don’t be shy or passive, and don’t leave it to chance.

Rule No. 6: Give the board lots of credit and acknowledgment. Remember the power of positive reinforcement.

Rule No. 7: Tie the board’s gifts directly to program results. Let board members know what they are accomplishing through their gifts.