Want your board to give? Find a member who acts like these grandmas.

Convincing a board to give. It still is difficult in the Netherlands. Even when it comes to giving in times of a major gift campaign. Even when they know that giving as a board member will be inspirational, that it will set an example for prospective donors. Then why is it so hard to convince NGO boards?

I thought about this a lot last week. I did some research and had great discussions with colleagues and fundraising friends about it. We came up with several reasons why (Dutch) board members are still not that enthusiastic about giving to their organization. It had to do with culture: the culture of asking, the culture of giving. And even Dutch culture. (more…)

What you must know (and a few things you probably don’t) as an international fundraiser

Philanthropy as we have known it is changing. And while donors continue to focus their time and money on the causes to which they have the most personal connection, our understanding of ‘community’ has evolved so fundamentally in the wake of globalisation that one may have just as much tangible experience of a starving child a hemisphere away as of the patrons of a breadline around the corner. And yet, despite the increasing sophistication of our donor communications and marketing strategies, the security of our success as Western fundraisers is irrevocable gone. (more…)

The Board Needs You!

The board needs you!As fundraisers we all know the importance of the board… getting trustees engaged and on-side is vital as you strive to communicate the success of current campaigns and appeals (thus maintaining, or increasing, budget allowance), explain in a minute amount of time exactly why this return on investment is good for a certain type of fundraising and that results from recent investment in a legacy campaign are not expected immediately (this would be a rather sinister twist!) (more…)

10 Essentials of an Effective Volunteer Board

Prepare for the Fundraising Trustee

Not long after the start of the current great recession a bright young man from deep inside the British Government came to see me, to talk about how volunteer boards in the UK might be strengthened and improved. He told me that scheduled government cuts mean politicians will want to transfer yet more government responsibilities to the voluntary sector. He talked about contracts and capacity and increased flexibility of funding for local authorities, and things like that. Basically what was on the table was less money for all and more central abdication of social provision. But he was worried that, rather obviously, the voluntary sector doesn’t have the capacity to take on more. (more…)

Hot potato!

Corporate funding is a hot potato within many NGO’s: lively debates filled with emotion. But how do you judge the (valid) sensitivities and define whether or not corporate support may harm your charity in any Read more…

Speed Dating Is Not the Path to a Great Board

around the tabelA great board should be a force multiplier filled with “connectors to mission-critical constituents” as Jon Glaudemans of Ascension Health says.  People who know and care about our mission and organization.  Leaders who have integrity, grit, empathy, humility and the will to succeed on behalf of the people, beliefs and planet we serve. Generous people inspired by what we do, wise workers and committed philanthropic investors.

Yeah, right.  Are you rolling your eyes or wiping them because you believe in the list but have no hope of getting there? (more…)