Tag Archives: board member fundraising

Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership: A Reflection

by Willie Matis

So the title of the luncheon “Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership” probably could’ve been changed to “Lessons in Nonprofit Leadership.”

The panelists yesterday were among the most quotable of the entire year.

A huge shoutout goes to JGA (Johnson Grossnickle & Associates), for not only putting on a great series for AFP Indiana, but saving this great group for last.

Yvonne Shaheen – CEO, Long Electric Company (retired)
Mike Wells – President, REI Investments, Inc.
Steve Walker – Chairman of the Board and CEO, Walker

Some great themes that were taken from them can be noted from the tweets above; however, one big takeaway was that leaders and board members should not be afraid to hold each other accountable.

This is a large statement. People, places, and organizations get complacent all too often. I don’t think it is coincidental that all 3 of these panelists, who are known to be fantastic board members, are also know to be a little “blunt.” Holding each other accountable is how to move forward. Sure, there are tender ways to be assertive, but when it comes down to it, in order to see success everyone must do their job. It was very refreshing to hear these words from the panelists. It fired up the crowd, and they inspired us all.

The quotes above or the theme of the day could have a negative feeling to it, but that is not at all how it came across. The passion was seen in each of them, and they speak their minds because they care about the community and the organizations for which the volunteer.

Yvonne gave some great parting words… she said, “If you don’t love what you are doing, then you’re in the wrong field.”

When you have passion, when you care, and when you work out any problems that arise, then good things will come.

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Filed under Capital Campaign

Great fundraising begins with great leadership

post by Molly Hahn.

Do you feel like your organization has been in a stalemate in the last few years?


flickr photo by frankblacknoir

If you do and you want to point to something besides the economic downturn, you might examine how board members are chosen and what expectations you have of them. While this may seem like a no-brainer, finding the right mix of personality and strengths on your board is a fine art.

For instance, while you may seek high-profile public figures or people with wealth, questioning their belief in the cause is truly an essential step in the nomination process. Some questions that you might ask board candidates:

  • Are you willing to invest both financial contributions and time in this board?  Be specific.
  • What is your interest in the cause?
  • What other nonprofits have you been involved in, and to what extent?
  • What expectations do you have of staff?
  • Are you willing to ask your peers for donations?
  • Are you a big thinker or a detail person?

Once a new member joins your board, then what do you do to bring them up to speed on the various programs and initiatives? Do you as the staff member ask for input enough to make their presence valuable? Do your board members have specific tasks, which are meaningful and also limited enough to seem manageable?

Finally, have you as a development professional experienced the board perspective yourself? Just last year, I was elected chair of my church’s parish council. I find there is a fine line between relying on the staff to manage the day to day and having them do so much that the council feels unused. We have had an ongoing discussion about leadership from the various committees and on our council, and yet I wonder if some people know the staff will step in and do not take their presence at meetings seriously.

In all, bringing out the best talents of your leadership is a road that is not always easy to navigate. But plugging through it mile by mile makes the journey worth it in the end!

What obstacles have you come across when gearing you leadership to act more like fundraisers?
What are some things you have done that WORKED?
Share below or join the conversation on social media through our Facebook page or Twitter account!

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Filed under Fundraising in General