So often I have heard this one line uttered…”But I give of my time and that is my gift!”
Yes and no.
As a Board of Director, you are expected to give of your time. You are a volunteer. You have fiduciary responsibilities that you are not usually paid for. And folks contrary to what you might think, there are no laws against board members receiving compensation. But for this example, let’s look at your board and mine. They don’t get paid nor expect to.
This, however, does not make philanthropy an option.
It is a given.
Or it should be.
Today, funders and donors look for 100% giving. Is your board on board? Have they given to this fundraising campaign? Are they supportive and committed to the mission of your nonprofit charity? The answer to those questions better be “yes!”
I once read these important points by fund development guru Kay Sprinkel Grace…
“Philanthropy is not multiple choice; those who join and serve should also give.”
“Board members cannot ask others to be donor-investors if they themselves are not.”
“Board giving leverages gifts from others, including staff.”
“There is joy in that comes from knowing that your financial support is helping achieve an important mission in the community.”
Can we pressure the board of directors to give? Sure! But don’t you want them to give out of their heart and desire? Shouldn’t they want to naturally give to support your charities mission?
And, how do we role model the fundraising process for them…by announcing it at a board meeting and handing out pledge cards.
Shame on us if we do this! They are our most closest donors so treat them like so.
So philanthropy is not a multiple choice question. There is only one answer. And, the answer better be a heartfelt gift or let’s look at board expectations, assessments and attrition. Lets look at fund development and how we assume and operate.
Do your board members think philanthropy is a multiple choice question? How are you handling this? How are you shifting this culture to a “yes” or a “no”?