The Age Old Question – Should You Require a Board Give/Get?

By Stephanie  |  May 8, 2017  |  Nonprofit Development,Training

5-19-Promo-2This is a question our clients often grapple with – generally, the question comes about when a Board was formed before a Give/Get seemed critical – when passion, hard work, and commitment to the mission were priority. As time goes by, as it inevitably does, these original “must haves” for board membership remain – but another pesky one surfaces – the need for fundraising prowess and fearlessness.

The question is, should Board members be required to give/get for the organizations they serve?

This very question is the one I will be debating with my colleague, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, on May 19th at 2 pm EST during a webinar debate hosted by My Seed Of Change. Join us – it promises to be a spirited conversation!

I am arguing pro- give/get for board members. These are my primary reasons for taking this position:

  • Board membership is a special privilege. I don’t mean that in a class/income sense. I mean in a leadership sense. Nonprofits rely heavily on their board members. Those selected to serve on a board should feel very passionately about the mission they will be representing, and they should be wiling to move mountains to generate interest, excitement, and dollars for the organization.
  • The give/get does not have to be set – there is flexibility and creativity in this requirement. The give/get should be a stretch for all board members, but not uniform. For some board members, $2,500 may be a stretch. For others, $300,000 may be a stretch. Each individual board member should be coached in successful board fundraising and then be provided guidance and strategy support in determining their own annual give/get requirement. Board give/get policies can be developed around this approach.
  • Do not turn a give/get policy for your board into a wealth requirement. High-net worth individuals are wonderful board members. However, so are passionate, brilliant, highly-driven, energetic board members who are NOT wealthy. You do not want to reinforce the wealth divide in this country right within the governance and leadership construct of your organization. With creativity, determination, and support, everyone can successfully fundraise for the missions they are most passionate about. You only need confidence, a supportive volunteer environment, and determination. Recruit a diverse board reflective of the issue and community you serve – AND institute a give/get requirement. Believe me, it can be done.

I hope you will join us for this special webinar event. It will be fun – and hopefully – helpful in how you approach this age old question within your organization. Let us know what YOU think in the comment section (it might help me shape my argument!).

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