Updated: Mar 5
What makes up a solid fundraising board? Of course it's the people you pick and their ability to fundraise. The second key is the proverbial Give/Get for the board. Although there are no official studies on how the Give/Get did in 2020, I'll share with you what I've seen happening with nonprofits from around the country.
1. Nonprofit leaders stopped tracking the Give/Get.
For the nonprofits that did have a Give/Get policy for their board of directors, many CEOs and Executive Directors stopped tracking progress toward the goal. They were busy worrying about other issues such as safety, employee well-being, and even keeping their organization operational. However, the conversations about Give/Get have slowly made their way back into the board meetings.
2. It became taboo to ask board members to Give/Get.
Remember those first few weeks, that eventually turned into months? It was tough! We didn't know who was going to be laid off. The economy was unstable. Several CEOs and Executive Directors considered it distasteful to discuss money and giving with board members when their employment and income were possibly at stake.
3. The "Give" only came up when it was award time.
As the pandemic began to drag on throughout 2020, a few nonprofit board leaders realized that if they didn't step up and ask their peers to give money, they would miss out on 100% giving awards that communities bestow to nonprofits. That prompted them to hustle to get the board members to give.
4. The "Gets" were strong when it came to COVID money.
Nonprofit board members from around the country stepped up to tap into their employers, family members, and colleagues to raise money for COVID related expenses. In-kind donations flooded shelters. There was a dramatic increase in the number of online donations made immediately following email announcements of closures. It was amazing to watch what board members could do when faced with a global pandemic.
As we move further into 2021, there is hope that we can begin to thrive again. If you're a nonprofit leader, board member, or development director, keep the conversation about the Give/Get in the forefront, regardless of the situation. We need everyone's help to make our nonprofits financial sustainable. Don't let a crisis get in the way of reminding board members of their responsibilities.