Develop tools for development training

Motivating volunteers can be as important as motivating paid staff. And, it’s not just executives who are responsible but staff members can help, too.

Gene Hayes, president of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Bruce Flessner of Bentz Whaley Flessner in Minneapolis, Minn., presented a session titled “Facilitating Success: Staffing and Motivating Development Volunteers,” at the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 46th annual international conference last fall.

They offered five tips for staff members when it comes to their organization’s boards:

  • Knowing what board members care about will allow you to better serve their interests, match them with prospective donors and identify projects where they are more likely to consider leadership roles.
  • Recruit board members from diverse backgrounds and communities, so they aren’t going back to the same people and you have the benefit of hearing new ideas and perspectives.
  • Use specific initiatives to challenge your board to action because active boards will work to achieve goals and raise an institution’s profile, but they are only active when their objectives are clear.
  • Learn your board’s strengths and weaknesses because a board that is in tune with its own strengths and weaknesses will be more effective and more comfortable.
  • Provide board members with opportunities to learn and grow, make sure they are aware of opportunities to attend conferences and trainings on leadership, fundraising and strategic planning.