MJA Nonprofit Board Challenge: Bowling and Dice Rolling

Last week I asked whether you were a bowler or a dice roller.  (If you didn’t see the article, you can read it by clicking here) I gave an example of a board member meeting that went awry, but there are so many pieces of the development process that can be regarded in this way.

For this week’s nonprofit board challenge, I offer you 4 examples and to consider and determine whether you should bowl again or accept the roll..

  1. Donor A has given $50 to your organization for the past 5 years.  This year, they gave $75.  Should you be a bowler or dice roller?
  2. Donor B gave $100 to the organization two years ago in honor of a loved one.  The loved one is still involved in the organization but the donor has not responded to additional solicitations.  Should you be a bowler or dice roller?
  3. You received a call as the Executive Director that while you were a meeting, the Director of Development just reamed the Major Gifts Officer in front of other employees.  Should you be a bowler or dice roller?
  4. Mr and Mrs. ZZ were rated within your capital campaign committee to be able to give a six-figure gift. After some stewardship and they gave $5000.  Should you be a bowler or dice roller?

My Answers:

1. BOWLER!  This is the perfect opportunity to engage this person and deepen the relationship.  If they are a dedicated supporter who has increased their committment without stewardship – just imagine the possibilities.

2. DICE ROLLER.   Giving in honor of someone can be a gateway into additional donations but more often than not, it is a one time gift.  Don’t waste your efforts.

3.  BOWLER.  Okay, you didn’t roll the first ball but as a teammate, you can help ensure everyone works together.  Take the time to discuss the issue with the Director of Development and encourage him/her to bowl again.

4. IT DEPENDS.  Not every situation is clear cut.  If they gave you an explanation as to why their gift was so far below expectations you have to assess whether that means, “No,” “Not Now,” or “Never going to be more.”

Good luck, whichever path you take.