The Mikuska Group  

Lift the fog: Make your board expectations clear

Does your board know what is expected of them? This may seem like a no-brainer, but in our experience, we find that many board members occupy a seat around the table, with little idea of your expectations.

Board members are your ambassadors in the community. ┬áPeople don’t give to causes. People give to people with causes. Make sure your board members have the tools to talk about your organization with passion in any and all opportunities that arise with family, friends and colleagues.

So what should you expect from them apart from governance? Many run from the idea of being involved in fundraising, but there are ways for them to be involved.

  • identifying prospects and opening doors
  • participating in cultivation activities – greeting guests at your gala, hosting a team at your annual golf tournament
  • writing thank-you notes, calling donors to say “Thanks for the gift – you’ve really made a difference!”
  • leading by example and making their own gift
  • asking people to make a gift

We recently sat down with board members of one of our client organizations and discussed their roles with respect to fundraising. Following this, one board member, who normally collected donations on her birthday to give to another organization, explained to her family and friends why she sat on this particular board, why she supported them with a donation and asked if they would contribute. The result? Everyone was pleased to donate to her organization! She said she’d never considered asking people to give to her organization, because no one had asked her to!

Make your expectations clear with a board recruitment package, position descriptions and frank discussion. The result will be stronger, more confident and effective leadership.

Laura Mikuska

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