I. FUNDRAISING FOLLIES: Not Engaging Your Board
II. WANTED: Your Help With My New Book

I. FUNDRAISING FOLLIES: Not Engaging Your Board
Nonprofit board members must be the eighth wonder of the world! They have lives full of work, family, and obligations yet they commit enormous amounts of time and effort on our behalf.Â

Unfortunately, we often aren’t equipped with tools to engage board members effectively. As a result, board members experience the extremes of overwork or mere meeting attendance.

I’m experimenting with an idea inspired by Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community by Albert Winseman, Donald Clifton, and Curt Liesveld.
The basic premise of this book is that if we focus on developing our hard-wired strengths, we’ll live much more productive and fulfilled lives.

I don’t know what board members think their strengths are and it would seem odd asking them, “What are your strengths?” So went to each of them and said:

I’ve been on boards that forgot that I wasn’t an employee of the nonprofit. And, I’ve been on boards that I feel like I’m merely showing up at meetings to rubber-stamp pre-determined decisions.I don’t want your experience on this board to be either.

So if I were to come back to you in 12 months, what one thing would you be most proud of contributing to the board?

Then I shut up. And wait. Each board member had a reason for joining the board. This is one way to make sure they are contributing in ways meaningful both to them and to the nonprofit. Once they answer, and we agree on a way that what they said will best benefit the organization, it becomes my job to make sure that happens.

I don’t know what the results of this approach will be. I’m anticipating board members feeling more fulfilled with their participation. They’ll be able to point to at least on concrete improvement they contributed to.

That’s the kind of board I’d want to be on!

II. WANTED: Your Help With My New Book
Thanks to all of you who responded to me email asking how Creating Donor Evangelists request a few weeks ago. I have another request for help.

I’m in the process of writing a book with the working title Asking for Money: A Get R.E.A.L. Guide to Raising Money from Individuals. I want it to help take the fear out of asking people for money. At little more than 100 pages, it should be ideal for boards to read.

Based on your experience in this field, what topics would be the most helpful to you? If you’ve read books or taken fundraising courses, what do you wish they’d included?

As always, you can send your comments and suggestions to marc@fundraisingcoach.com. Thanks!

I’ve talked about this before. I you haven’t checked out CharityUniversity yet, do it now. They’ve just added dozens of new live and on demand classes to its line up.

While you’re there, check out “Fundraising 101” by yours truly. That link is:

To your extreme fundraising success!


21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

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