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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

The For Impact Board’s Funding Role


Every single Board that we have worked with, without exception, has a very fuzzy and ill-defined ROLE for their Board vis-à-vis INCOME.

*One of the very best Executive Directors I’ve ever worked with actually told me that her Board’s ‘funding strategy’ was to buy LOTTERY TICKETS! It would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad.

Here’s what we believe the ROLE of the Board should be in an [IMPACT -> INCOME] CULTURE:

  • CHAMPION…
    the CAUSE and the CASE.
  • INVITE…
    others to get INVOLVED and ENGAGED.
  • INVEST…
    with a COMMENSURATE COMMITMENT
    (to help FUND THE VISION)

* Specific Board Members are a critical part of your SALES TEAM! They can help get the visit, predispose before the visit, possibly join you on the visit, and definitely help follow-up after the visit.

Following are some thoughts to help you and your Board better understand these 3 big words.

  • CHAMPION. The power of this word is that everyone can and should know what it means to CHAMPION your organization, your Cause and your Case.* When you present these 3 roles to your Board, if there are any Board Members who are reluctant to CHAMPION your organization, they need to be removed immediately. (Call security and have them escorted from the building. )
  • INVITE. Your Board Members and Champions need the opportunity to INVITE OTHERS to become INVOLVED and ENGAGED in your organization and Cause and Case.Just imagine if you went to your Board and said, “We do not want you asking people for money! We need you to INVITE a Qualified Prospect to a TOUR or a MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE .”This is 100 times better than asking them for ‘names’!*One of the best ways we’ve found to execute on this role is with specific ‘membership’ opportunities. Let them INVITE prospects to join the President’s Circle or a Legacy Society. Then they get ‘MEMBERS’… not MONEY!
  • INVEST. The ‘COMMENSURATE’ word changes everything! Every single Board Member/Champion should make an INVESTMENT (in time, energy and money) that is COMMENSURATE with their Relationship… Capacity…and Involvement with your organization.

SPECIAL NOTE

‘INVEST’ has nothing to do with Board Members ‘giving or getting $10,000’. Nothing to do with ‘time, treasure and talents’ from the 1950’s.

A $250 gift from one Board Member could be both commensurate and sacrificial. A $1 Million gift from another Board Member could be neither commensurate or anywhere near a sacrifice.

This COMMENSURATE strategy allows you to take a Board Member who is a $10,000 (commensurate) investor on a visit to Present the Opportunity to a $1 Million investor.

* We realize (from a lot of comments and feedback from our For Impact audience)
that a lot of Board Members were told very specifically that they did not have to
give money to be on the Board. We still strongly believe that you should have
this discussion with your Board around their ROLE, including the ‘INVEST with a
COMMENSURATE COMMITMENT’ conversation.

Why? Because it’s all about the IMPACT.

If they believe (CHAMPION), they should both INVITE and INVEST.

*The following is a direct quote from a ‘FEASIBILITY STUDY’ conducted by a very old and well respected ‘consulting firm’.“The Board must feel charged with the BURDEN (our caps) of the fundraising campaign‘s success.”

“Trustees are expected to give SACRIFICIALLY.” (Again, our caps.)

“BURDEN.” “SACRIFICE.” Is it no wonder that your Board Members are not very enthusiastically and passionately engaged in your fundraising and your campaigns?