Ep 184: Nobody Told Me I’d Have to Fundraise!

by Joan Garry

Let’s unpack the truth about board fundraising expectations…


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Maybe you’re on a board (or two). Or maybe you work with board members. Have you ever heard a board member say, “But, no one told me I had to fundraise…”? Oy.

This statement brings up SO many questions for me.

This episode is for nonprofit board members, executive directors, nominations committees, and anyone involved in the process of selecting exceptional board members for nonprofit organizations. In the episode, I explore what this statement implies about our fundraising mindset, the role of board members, and the funding model for our sector. I answer questions like:

  • What do board members actually mean when they say this statement out loud?
  • How did we end up in this predicament in the first place? Is it even possible that someone could become a board member without ever being informed about board fundraising expectations?
  • How can we align board members’ understanding of and commitment to fundraising?
  • How can you foster a culture of engagement, share effective communication tactics, and emphasize the significance of active involvement in fueling your organization’s important work?

So, let’s dive in together and unravel the mysteries of board fundraising! 

And executive directors… don’t think you’re off the hook either. We all need to get this board fundraising thing right.

By the end of our time together, you’ll have a newfound clarity on the importance of board fundraising, and you’ll be equipped to initiate positive change within your nonprofit. So get ready to unlock the power of engagement and impact through board fundraising.

What you’ll learn:

  • What are the board fundraising expectations of a nonprofit organization?
  • How can nonprofits align their board members’ understanding and commitment to fundraising and create a fundraising culture of shared responsibility?
  • How does a nonprofit board member get through an interview and vetting process without learning about their board fundraising expectations?
  • What are the specific fundraising responsibilities of nonprofit boards and how can nonprofit executive directors, nominations committees, development directors and others effectively communicate these expectations to board members?
  • How can nonprofit leaders address the common challenges and misconceptions surrounding board fundraising and empower board members to embrace their role in fueling the organization’s important work?
  • What are some practical steps to establish clear fundraising expectations for the board of directors and ensure they are actively contributing to the fundraising efforts?


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