The Facts of Board Management in Fundraising

Sections of this topic

    Board Management in Fundraising: Setting Up the Facts

    MYTH: Every Board Member must make an “example-setting” major gift.

    REALITY: Every Board Member must set an example by giving to the best of his/her ability. Even a dollar (if that’s all s/he can afford) will help demonstrate, to other potential (individual and institutional) funders, that every Board Member has “supported” their organization. Keep in mind that other funders would have less reason/motivation to give if they see that an organization does not have 100%, wholehearted, Board Member participation.

    MYTH: The Board is responsible, in some way, for the networking, cultivating, and soliciting of 80-90% of an NPO’s charitable income.

    REALITY: The Board is responsible for providing a mechanism to fund any budget that they approve. Board Members could assume actual responsibility for giving and getting; They could vote to authorize the creation of a volunteer group, the members of which would accept responsibility for giving and getting; and/or, They could authorize the creation of one or more staff positions that would be responsible for generating income — not necessarily limited to charitable gifts.

    MYTH: Hiring a staff “fundraiser” or creating a separate volunteer fundraising body means that the Board doesn’t have to have a role in the fundraising process.

    REALITY: Everything that a Board does can impact the organization’s ability to do fundraising. Board Members may not all be major donors, and may not all be involved in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors, but all Board Members do have to be involved. Their level of involvement makes a statement to others as to their level of commitment…. Sometimes, what they don’t do also makes a statement.


    Have a question about starting or expanding your fundraising? Email me at With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs, and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll work to answer your question.