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News You Can Use

News You Can Use
Issue 113/May 2012
Getting Your Board Onboard
Judy KellerJudy Keller
Senior Vice President
Editors note: Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. is a member of The Giving Institute (a member of the Nonprofit Research Collaborative) and a contributor to the annual Giving USA Report which is researched and written by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Many of the calls we receive from staff we work with have a common theme. Regardless of the organization’s size or mission, its senior staff, at some point in the conversation – generally fairly early – express frustration or at best, curiosity, about board engagement among their peer organizations.

A new study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative entitled, “Nonprofit Fundraising Study: Covering Charitable Receipts at US Nonprofit Organizations in 2011” published in April 2012 indicates most Boards now understand and accept an increased role in fundraising. Here are ten highlights from the report:

  1. Forty percent of all boards have between 11 and 20 members.
  2. Sixty percent require board members to make a financial contribution to the organization. The smallest organizations were least likely to make this requirement.
  3. Ninety percent of organizations that require a contribution report that they tell a prospective board member about that expectation at the time of recruitment.
  4. Only 35% set a minimum gift amount for board contributions
  5. The average annual board gift is just under $5,000 with education organizations reporting the highest at $12,520.
  6. Only 11% of responding organizations in the religion subsector reported a minimum gift amount, but their average gift is not lower than averages in most other subsectors.
  7. Sixty percent of organizations track the amount board members help raise.
  8. Board members are most likely to get involved by allowing use of their names (79%), asking friends or associates to attend events (78%), and making personal introductions (76%).
  9. Only 52% of board members will host events in their home or business.
  10. Board members are least likely to develop the fundraising plan, although 52% do, and rate prospective donors, although 42% do.

There is no longer an excuse for board members not to be engaged in fundraising in some capacity for your organization. It is now accepted best practice that strong organizations have board members who are actively engaged in supporting the organization. Serving as wise counsel is no longer sufficient.

For more information about board giving and how to energize your board around giving, go to or attend our workshop in Kansas City on June 8 to learn about engaging your board in capital campaigns. (See sidebar for details or click here to register.)

For Smaller Non-Profit CEO’s Considering Conducting a Capital Campaign

John F. Marshall
Senior Vice President

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with non-profits of all shapes and sizes, whether conducting board training, engaged in a development audit or offering ongoing advice on running a capital campaign. Whatever the project, what has been critically important in any project was the active involvement of the CEO.

This article is intended primarily for the CEO who has been entrusted with managing a smaller non-profit, one with a committed board but with no one staff person assigned to managing fundraising and development programs. In other words…the CEO who wears many hats!

Capital campaigns provide a wonderful opportunity to raise funds to either build new facilities or engage in renovations, and in further developing broader and stronger relationships within your community. Great outcomes can occur when the campaign is properly organized and executed, as well as being supported through the active participation of the board of directors… in every facet of the effort.

But make no mistake, for the smaller non-profit; it is up to the CEO to make certain that “everything gets done.” The following are several of what I believe are key responsibilities and duties of the CEO of a smaller organization within a capital campaign…from start to finish.

It is CRITICAL that you:

  1. Become even more proficient at TIME MANAGEMENT, being able to BALANCE the demands on yourself and on your time;
  2. Become exceptionally good at DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS with community leaders, volunteers and campaign prospects;
  3. Develop relationships that genuinely express FRIENDSHIP, MUTUAL RESPECT, COOPERATION and a willingness to be AVAILABLE at any time;
  4. LEARN as much as possible about people: their NEEDS, INTERESTS and CONCERNS;
  5. Show a willingness to recognize and express your LIMITATIONS by asking for advice;
  6. Always be PREPARED when attending campaign meetings to ASK questions and RESPOND to questions and possible challenges;
  7. Create, manage and adhere to a CAMPAIGN CALENDAR, being careful to monitor progress and TAKE ACTION when lulls occur;
  8. Accept that NOTHING STOPS with your non-campaign programs and services despite the INCREASED DEMANDS on your time;
  9. Be prepared to address UNFORSEEN CHALLENGES in an effort to avoid negativity that could impact the campaign. FAILURE to address issues can also impact VOLUNTEER MORALE and the public’s perception of the campaign and your organization;
  10. Your staff will require even greater LEVELS OF ENCOURAGEMENT and SUPPORT. They need to know that their efforts are IMPORTANT to the success of the campaign;
  11. Be prepared to ATTEND ALL campaign meetings. Volunteers and staff NEED TO SEE that you are integrally involved with the campaign;
  12. Take every opportunity to PUBLICLY PROMOTE the campaign at public events, in front of civic clubs and through the media;
  13. Become even more CLOSELY ALIGNED with your board. MEET with them regularly, keep them fully INFORMED and PARTNER with them when making fundraising calls;
  14. And lastly, if using campaign COUNSEL, develop a close WORKING RELATIONSHIP to ensure
  • Adherence to the campaign calendar
  • Creation of the best strategies for asking for a gift
  • The timely handling of issues when they arise (and they will, trust me)

For the CEO, regardless of whatever size organization he or she leads, managing a capital campaign could become the most demanding period of their life… AND THE MOST SATISFYING!

Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. is prepared to assist you with whatever your fundraising and development needs may be. We would be delighted to receive your call and discuss ways in which we can partner with you and your organization in pursuing excellence. 800.222.9233;



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