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Joanne Fritz

Research Turns Up Best Practices for Board Fundraising

By November 28, 2012

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Engaged Board Members

Most of us believe that nonprofits do better in fundraising when their boards are involved.

That assumption was recently corroborated by research performed by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC). But, their survey found that it's not the gifts from individual board members that make the most difference; it is the actions that those board members take to expand the universe of givers and the direct appeals they make to friends and family.

It turns out that nonprofits that are most likely to reach their fundraising goals do three things: require at least a minimum donation from 100% of the board; set up a development or fundraising committee made of board members; and ask board members to solicit their own contacts.

There's lots more to the research, including...Read More...

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Comments

November 29, 2012 at 9:10 am
(1) Amy Eisenstein says:

Great post, Joanne! Thanks for sharing these interesting and important findings. I always teach my clients that if they are able to successfully leverage the contacts of their board members will be able to raise significantly more money, and it’s so true!

You made the point that “big” boards don’t necessarily raise more money. I’m glad you included numbers of board members, because I find that most small and mid-sized organizations err on the side of having boards that are too small (less than 15 members). I find that 17-25 board members is a much better number of board members for small and medium sized organizations. Most organizations need to work at growing their boards so they have a wider network of contacts, skills, and resources to draw from.

November 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm
(2) nonprofit says:

That’s a great observation, Amy! I’ve only worked with or served on boards of 20-30 members and found that very satisfactory, especially if there are committees that the board members can work within. I do know orgs that do not have development committees and I can’t understand why. Except that sometimes, if the org is small and the board small, board members may be very frightened of “fundraising.” That’s too bad because there are really so many ways that board members can take part… and many of them are low stress ways.

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