Nonprofit Board of Director Composition and its Impact on Fundraising

The first major ingredient in fundraising and perhaps the most critical is human resource development. 

It starts with the Board of Directors. If you were putting together a fantasy football team you would look for players with specific qualities, physical conditioning and a proven record.  You should select your board of directors with the same care.  You are assembling a winning team and expect each member to contribute fully to reaching the goal.

One of the fundamentals of successful fundraising is that leadership must come from the donors themselves who provide not only personal gifts but are willing to ask peers for support. 

Therefore, a board of directors should be comprised of individuals who view your nonprofit among their top giving priorities. This does not mean that you only recruit board members for their financial capacity or their access to wealth.  You must consider their interest and commitment to your nonprofit’s mission. The time and talent they bring to the governance role are vital.  Their role is a large one with trusteeship and oversight.  However, board membership does include the responsibility of securing resources for your nonprofit.

Board members who are willing to provide a personal gift are at an advantage for two reasons. 1. They have greater credibility asking others for gifts if they themselves have given first. 2. A personal gift shows a commitment to the nonprofit mission and generates support from other donors.

Want to know where your board stands? Here are 6 questions you can ask to analyze your current board composition:

  1. What special knowledge and skills are critical for effective governance?
  2. Are there any missing qualifications among the current board that should be considered in recruiting future board members?
  3. Do current board members make your nonprofit a top priority among their civic activities?
  4. Does your board makeup reflect elements of diversity: age, gender, ethnic and racial background?
  5. Are the current board members active in committee work and accessible for participating in fundraising activities?
  6. Does the board evaluate its own performance?

One of the critical steps in strengthening your nonprofit’s human resource position my include evaluating and changing the board composition.  A saying in fundraising is that “people give to people.” Therefore, your nonprofit must identify and recruit the right people for maximum effectiveness.   

I hope this helps. Your feedback is appreciated.  Leave a comment below. Sharing is caring.

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