It’s not every executive director who can brag about her Board of Directors. I consider myself quite lucky on this account. In fact, in most gatherings of nonprofit executives that I attend the conversation normally includes complaints about board members. Some executive directors express frustration about being micro-managed, others wonder why there is such reluctance to fundraise for their cause.
The December Nonprofit Conference on Fundraising Development hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton focused on “Building Your Team: Making Your Board Your Greatest Asset.” As a panelist at this session, I joined with four other nonprofit executives to share some of the tools and strategies our organizations use to ensure strong Board leadership.
I contributed two resources – the Personal Development Plan and Board Scorecard – that were developed by Calvary’s Board several years ago. These time-tested tools have transformed the Board’s individual and combined fundraising and built a financially stable organization. By encouraging our diverse Board membership to set and achieve their own personal fundraising goals, we build on their individual strengths and reach broader networks of people in our community. The Scorecard not only provides accountability, it helps each person to track their own progress and learn from the successes of their peers.
The results? Over the last few years, Calvary’s Board has doubled its fundraising. Every member of Calvary’s Board of Directors raises money. And now they raise 15% of Calvary’s budget each year.
That’s just fundraising, only one piece of their leadership.
Now let me brag about Calvary’s Board a little bit. The 18 people who gather around the Board table every other month are committed, generous individuals. They give of their time and resources. They consider who they know and try to connect even more potential donors and friends to Calvary. They are providing tremendous leadership as Calvary envisions its future and moves toward significant expansion of its programs over the next two years. Thank you, Calvary Board members, for building and maintaining an exemplary nonprofit organization serving women who are homeless in DC!