Board Development Issue Number 5 on our Top 10
The Top Ten Board Development Issues
That Impact Your Organization
Fundraising is Fundamental
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
— Sir Winston Churchill
“In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs.”
— Kay Sprinkel Grace
Much is required from those to whom much is given.
— Luke 12:48
What is universally true about nonprofit organizations is that they each require financial resources (revenue) to sustain their operation, provide capital for major projects, and a healthy endowment ensuring sustainability into an uncertain future. While there are no guarantees, what we are objectively clear about is that these components are needed for an organization to contribute something significant to our culture and society.
If it is true that those closest to the organization are best suited to be its biggest supporters then it stands to reason that the boards of trustees, collectively and individually, are in the best position to provide this necessary financial support. It must be said that support from outside the board is also fundamental. Major donors as well as donors at every giving level are needed throughout all constituencies.
When a prospective trustee is recruited there are many issues that must be shared – including the issue that fundraising is fundamental! Board members potentially bring many needed attributes to their service on the Board and chief among these is the responsibility to give as generously as is someone’s ability to do so. The Committee on Trustees (when recruiting), and specifically, the Board Chair has the responsibility of candor. It may also fall to the board’s development committee to make certain that 100% of the board contribute. Nothing less is acceptable.
There can be no disguising the fact that giving as generously as possible and supporting this process is the responsibility of each trustee. It may not be THE reason someone was asked to be on the board, but it is most certainly A reason someone was asked to join the board. Never lose sight of the fact that for the Board of Trustees, fundraising is fundamental!
Note: There are far too many wonderful quotes on this topic to share only one!