Involving the Board and Individual Board Members
The best development professionals work hard to involve the board of directors, the governing body. The best development professionals work just as hard to involve each individual board member. This is my job and yours. That’s why we have to be good enablers, described in Chapter 8.
Please, you’re not trying to make fundraising fun. Most board members won’t find this fun. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Don’t make them suspicious with such a silly statement. All you’re trying to do is make it “less worse.” You’re helping the board and its members understand that this is corporate accountability and a moral and ethical expectation. It’s okay if board members are reluctant, as long as they do it.
Sadly, because of “our really big fundraising mistake” and the “corollary to the really big mistake,” we’ve taken the honor out of philanthropy and fund development. By making philanthropy a transaction, we insult. By making fund development a graceless hard-core car sale, we scare people.
Stop focusing on money each time you talk with the board and try to involve individual board members. Stop the madness! Instead, try these strategies to build understanding and ownership, and reduce discomfort. Try these strategies to involve them in the deeper meaning, and foster their respect and admiration.