Volunteers act as board members when they are meeting in an authorized board meeting or when they have been authorized by the board to perform a specific function.
The role of the "board" in fundraising is simple. The board of directors is responsible for all matters concerning resource development. They can either directly engage in resource development or delegate this responsibility to a hired staff person or designated volunteer.
The Role of the "Board"
- Set board policy about fundraising and resource development
- Delegate key fundraising activities to hired staff.
- Approve the scope and budget of fundraising activities
- Oversee the results of fundraising activities
- Oversee activities comply with board policies
- Remedy any failure in fundraising activities, results or policies.
When delegating their authority for fundraising, they do not transfer their ultimate responsibility. Understanding the role of the board and its responsibility is key to reducing frustration by key staff, volunteers and the board when fundraising is being considered.
The Four Keys of Fundraising Boards:
1st Key: Set Policy
The Nonprofit Board must set the policies for all fundraising activities. It must address the following items:
- Receipt and Use of Donations
- Recruitment and Treatment of Donors
- Responsibility and accountability of board, staff, and volunteers in fundraising.
2nd Key: Approve Planning
The Nonprofit Board must review and approve annual and capital fundraising activities. Planning should include the following:
- Scope of all fundraising activities
- Set budget for all fundraising activities
- Schedule all fundraising activities
3rd Key: Oversee Performance
The Nonprofit Board must review the activities and results of all fundraising activities. They must also ensure all operations and personnel comply with fundraising policy:
- Money Raised
- Donors Retained
- Donors Recruited
- Donors Respected
- Goals Reached
4th Key: Be a Partner
The Nonprofit Board must be responsible for encouraging each board member to volunteer to be an organizational ambassador. The following could be expected:
- Give. Each board member should be a financial contributor to the organization once a year. The size of the contribution is not the critical factor. The significance of the donation to the donor is most important
- Invite. Invite respected individuals or businesses to meet key staff, attend events or volunteer their time.
- Feel. Feel Passionately about the organization.
- Tell. Tell others publicly and privately why the partner with the organization.
Fundraising is a board responsibility that is often entrusted to key staff or volunteers. Too often boards assume when they delegate fundraising activities, they can wash their hands of all responsibility.
Boards should be clear about what they are delegating, how they will monitor the activities and what results they will require. There are four parameters of fundraising the board needs to discuss and work at. They include
If the board does not act proactively to the four parameters, they may have to react in difficult times because the organization lacks resources, has hurt their reputation or let illegal activities to occur.
The hope is that all board members remain passionate about their nonprofit keeping a firm handle on all the four parameters. This will not only safeguard the organization but allow it to succeed.
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