A dozen fundraising board tools

Although organizations embrace the concept with varying degrees of enthusiasm, board involvement in fundraising is one of the foundation stones of nonprofit operations. That’s easy to say, but often board members are not sure of what exactly is required of them.

Worse, many board members are not acutely aware of the organization’s needs (other than more money), and of the resources that can help them do their work more effectively.

At the recent Grants Professionals Association (GPA) annual conference, Scot Scala of Scala & Associates LLC, said nonprofit boards must be provided with the resources necessary for them to understand the organization’s fund development needs. That includes:

Organizational and program budgets;

Breakdown and ratio of grant funding and all other funding sources;

Fund development plans and strategic plans;

Case statements for the organization and its programs;

Promotional materials (brochures, event schedules); and,

A “board tool kit” or “trunk kit.” Any organization should consider developing one.

Further, ongoing education for board members is essential. Topics of interest for boards include:

* Governance/fund development/donor relations;

* How to communicate with and properly cultivate the grant funder;

* The organization’s programming and developments;

* Public speaking skills;

* Trends in the industry; and,

* Understanding the government grant-making process.