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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 3 Engaging Your Board

“Change is inevitable, but progress is optional, and leadership makes all the difference.”

—Andy Stern

Introduction

Board members are part of the core leadership team of your organization, and they’re in one of the best positions to serve as passionate advocates for your cause. When effectively engaged and utilized, boards will step up, and step in to fundraising. Board members have unique connections and relationships in the community that are valuable and even transformative when properly leveraged. The right board, successfully employed, can catapult both your impact and fundraising efforts to the next level. Board members should also be among your most dependable and generous donors. For most nonprofits, the sum of these contributions makes a big difference on their budget.

Unfortunately, this rosy picture isn’t as common as it should be. Many small nonprofits launch with a friends and family board that simply lends their names to the NGO application, and still others are grassroots organizations that leverage a “working board” to augment their staff, assuming they even have a payroll. Either way, transitioning your organization to one that effectively recruits and engages a powerful board that contributes on all levels to your fundraising efforts—donating, asking, prospecting, and more—is one of the most vexing challenges facing many nonprofits. But there’s hope: it doesn’t have to be that way.

In an effort to identify tips and tools that ...

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