Q & A: Motivating a board to give and solicit

Nonprofit Board Incentives imageQ. How do I motivate my board to give and solicit funds?

A. Board members have the responsibility to both give and solicit funds, but if these financial responsibilities were not mentioned during the recruitment process to the board, it is harder to achieve. Materials provided to all potential board members should include a list of criteria (see the sample in the article below) as well as a covenant so that no one will be surprised by your expectations.

What should you do if your board has yet to develop these documents? Now is the time to establish a process to create a sound program for your agency’s governance. The resistance to the idea of raising money, is often a fear of hearing “no” and not knowing how to turn that “no” into a yes. Proper training, whether facilitated by a consultant or role-playing among board members and staff within the organization will often help alleviate many of the anxieties involved. As for the personal donations, by establishing set amounts that board members should give annually from this day onward, the fiduciary responsibility is set. Many will give above and beyond (when asked) but at least everyone will understand the expectations.