Ep 35: Stop Asking Your Board to Fundraise! (With Gail Perry)

by Joan Garry

In this episode fundraising expert Gail Perry argues that pushing your board members to fundraise is a big mistake. She suggests a better approach…


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So says my guest on today’s podcast, Gail Perry.

I think a lot of board members are going to be really happy to hear that!

Now, Gail’s not saying that the board should play no role in fundraising, but her point-of-view is certainly provocative and counterintuitive.

I’ll admit I was rather skeptical. But I will say that a) Gail is pretty convincing and b) she has an amazing track record of helping numerous nonprofits raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

So I was pretty excited to discuss board fundraising with her.

You won’t want to miss this.

About Gail Perry

Gail Perry, a long time fundraising expert and consultant, was recently named to Philanthropy Media’s list of America’s top fundraisers. She especially enjoys working with board members to help them become better fundraisers.

Her book, Fired Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion Into Action, is the gold standard for developing successful fundraising boards.

Gail has also served on more than 22 (!!!) boards herself. If we were going to ask anyone the right way to help our boards become more involved in fundraising, Gail is our gal. Have a listen.

In this episode:

  • Why pushing your board to fundraise is the wrong approach
  • Where it does make sense for your board to engage in fundraising
  • Why successful fundraising is less about “the ask” and more about retention
  • How to improve donor retention
  • The worst possible way to raise money
  • How to make “thank-you” calls that increase your donations by 39%!!
  • The 4 steps to a major gift ask
  • The appropriate role for a development committee

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